Published in Nacional number 610, 2007-07-24

Autor: Dean Sinovčić


Brazilian manager fighting for Eduardo’s millions

NACIONAL UNRAVELS all the bank accounts into which money was paid for the transfer of Eduardo da Silva from Dinamo to Arsenal, valued at €11.5 million

€4.6 million Eduardo da Silva, upon transfer to London’s Arsenal, received the largest portion of the total amount of €11.5 million' €4.6 million Eduardo da Silva, upon transfer to London’s Arsenal, received the largest portion of the total amount of €11.5 million' After selling Eduardo da Silva to Arsenal, Zdravko Mamic had to first settle both the moral and material debts to his partners, meaning this sale was not as financially successful as he had originally portrayed. da Silva was not sold for €24 million, but for €11.5 million; upon allocation of the funds, Mamic had to return debts to the City of Zagreb, which finances him every year, as well as Brazilian manager Helio Augusto Suzano, who has been seeking 25% of every contract which da Silva has signed since 2001. From this, it emerges that Mamic did earn money on the sale of da Silva, but not as much as recorded; this amount is not enough to purchase new quality players for Dinamo. That is the reason why Mamic is keeping quiet about the details of da Silva’s contract with Arsenal, because publication of the figures would not suit him well.

For years, Mamic has been signing contracts with his players which state that, if they are sold to a foreign team, Dinamo gets 20%, while the player and Mamic divide the remaining 80%. These types of contracts were revealed when Bosko Balaban was sold from Dinamo to Aston Villa. The transfer was worth ₤6 million, of which Dinamo received only 20%, or ₤1.2 million. These contracts reveal that Mamic exploits Dinamo so that he and his agency MSA (Mamic Sport Agency) earn money. At the end of the 1990’s, when Mamic was not the head of Dinamo, money from the sale of players was shared 50-50, and Dario Simic, Mark Viduka and other players were sold on this principle back when Zlatko Canjuga was the club’s president. Even though in 2000, Velimir Zajec, then director of Dinamo, claimed that this practice would not change, respectively that the club could only receive more money from transfers and in no way less from the sale of players in the future, everything has changed since Mamic’s role has been strengthened. Mamic influenced Zajec to leave Dinamo, and Dinamo soon after became a hostage to Mamic’s agency. That is the reason why the club received only €2.3 million from the sale of da Silva. There should be no doubt that Mamic does not feel any guilt because, for years, he has been talking about how he has invested millions of his own money in Dinamo so, most likely, it must be normal for him to take more for himself than he gives the club from any transfer. The question is, then, how to divide the remaining €9.2 million. Mamic as the manager, da Silva and Dinamo signed their first professional contract in February 2001. Based on that contract, 50% of'MAMIC’S DEAL OF THE CENTURY Eduardo da Silva was brought to Dinamo from Brazil in September 1999 when he was only 15 years old for $50,000''MAMIC’S DEAL OF THE CENTURY Eduardo da Silva was brought to Dinamo from Brazil in September 1999 when he was only 15 years old for $50,000' each following contract would be received by da Silva, 25% Mamic, while the remaining 25% would go to Brazilian manager Suzano who sold da Silva to Mamic and Dinamo. The truth is, Suzano, who sold da Silva to Dinamo for $50,000, did not care too much for his player. He arrived in Zagreb at the age of 16 in September 1999. He did not show any special talent at the beginning; many claimed that Croatia had enough similar players to export. Because da Silva got injured quite often, he was one step away from being returned to Rio de Janeiro. In the first year, neither Mamic nor Zajec believed in him, and the only person who claimed that da Silva was a great talent was Dinamo’s assistant coach Djuro Bago. That is the reason why da Silva signed a professional contract in 2001, received Croatian citizenship in 2002, and was included in the starting eleven at the time when Dinamo was led by Miroslav Blazevic. While under Blazevic’s leadership, da Silva was injured quickly and Bago once again intervened because even Blazevic wanted to discard da Silva. Slowly, Bago proved to be the best assessor of da Silva’s capabilities and in 2002, he was loaned to Inter from Zapresic, where he plays several excellent matches. One year later, he was returned to Dinamo and at the end of 2004, when there was no doubt in his qualities, Mamic signed a new, four year contract with him. That was enough for Brazilian manager Suzano to show up in Maksimir in March 2005. His player, da Silva, had signed a new contract three months prior and Suzano wanted his 25% of the contract. When journalists asked Mamic who the Brazilian manager was, he answer that Suzano has nothing to do with da Silva because Mamic paid him out, mentioning $50,000.

However, at the end of November 2006, Suzano’s attorney, Paula Katzenstein, arrived in Zagreb, claiming that Mamic did not pay out her client and that he owes him approximately $150,000. She also stated hopes that the conflict with Mamic would be solved peacefully. However, Mamic stood his ground, at the same time claiming that Suzano cannot seek any money from the contract, which made Paula Katzenstein laugh. She said that she has heard similar stories throughout Europe, where in similar court proceedings she has represented Brazilian managers and received more complex cases than this. Suzano and his attorney are seeking €2.3 million, which is 25% of the remaining €9.2 million in compensation. Therefore, Suzano should receive the same amount as Dinamo. This was confirmed for us by Paula Katzeinstein in a telephone conversation on Monday, 23 July. She stated that she has found a law office in Zagreb to represent her in the da Silva case, and the first court session was held at the beginning of June in Zagreb. Katzeinstein told us that Suzano has not received any money from Mamic to this point, that he will not give up on his requests, and that his health is suffering because of this case.

If Mamic sticks to the contract from 2001, €2.3 million would belong to him, and da Silva would receive the remaining 50%, or €4.6 million. If he does not pay out Suzano, he will share the money with da Silva, as he did with Balaban’s compensation. However, this relationship could be changed through a new contract. The final contract which was signed by Mamic, da Silva and Dinamo was the one from April this year, when da Silva signed for 10 years, and his annual earnings increased from €72,000 to €132,000. The speculations that da Silva will earn ₤1.5 million annually in Arsenal, which means that his monthly wages will be larger than what he earned annually in Dinamo, proves just how funny this amount was. However, this is not the end of Mamic’s earnings from da Silva’s transfer. He recently said that he has the same contract with da Silva which he has with Balaban; based on that contract, the players need to give up a part of their wages which they receive in the new club. In Balaban’s case, this was 15%, which means that da Silva would have to give Mamic ₤225,000 or €335,000 annually. The truth is, in that statement, Mamic complained that Balaban and the other players he sold are not paying their part and that he could sue them, which he won’t do because of possible reactions from the public. Also, based on the contract with Balaban, Mamic should receive 15% of each following transfer or new contract. If he signed a similar contract with da Silva, Mamic will exploit da Silva’s football skills for years to come.

'DJURO BAGO, Dinamo’s former assistant coach, saved da Silva several times from being sent back to Brazil, when trainers believed that he was not promising''DJURO BAGO, Dinamo’s former assistant coach, saved da Silva several times from being sent back to Brazil, when trainers believed that he was not promising'Dinamo received, therefore, €2.3 million from the transfer, which is the minimum amount that Mamic received. However, Mamic could not have put that money in his account; he had to return the debts to the City of Zagreb and Milan Bandic who gives the club a total of 35 million kuna annually from the city budget, through marketing and donations for professional sports. On the other hand, the city helps NK Zagreb with 6.5 million kuna. Because the local government is getting tired of assisting Mamic’s Dinamo, which has not achieved any results in Europe over the past years, Mamic must return the favour to Bandic in some way. That is the reason why he purchased two players from NK Zagreb for €2.5 million, Mario Mandzukic and Ivica Vrdoljak, as soon as he sold da Silva. At first glance, it was not clear to anyone why Mamic paid so much for the transfer of players who together are not worth more than a million euros; the question was why Vrdoljak was purchased alongside Mandzukic when he was not necessary for Dinamo and Dinamo was not even interested in him. Mamic, actually, got the cue from the city administration that the debt should be returned from the sale of da Silva in the sense that NK Zagreb should be assisted and the city administration disencumbered from helping NK Zagreb. Mamic did that immediately and in that sense, admitted that Dinamo is greatly dependent on Bandic.

Arsenal still has not published the total amount for the transfer, even though these figures are always published in England.'Dinamo received 20% of da Silva’s transfer, which is a scandalously small amount: Mamic proved that his agency is more important to him than the club' 'Dinamo received 20% of da Silva’s transfer, which is a scandalously small amount: Mamic proved that his agency is more important to him than the club' The question is how Mamic managed to convince them of this, while it is clear why Mamic does not want these figures published. For months, he promised fans that he would not sell da Silva this year, and then he cheated them. Because Mamic is afraid of the fans and nurses a good relationship with them, even when they rampage during Dinamo’s games, he had to lie to them that da Silva was sold for an unbelievable €24 million, which is slightly more than ₤16 million. Arsenal has, until now, spent the most money on Sylvian Wiltord in 2000, whose transfer totalled ₤13 million. That is why the speculations in British media are completely realistic when they state that da Silva was paid a little less than ₤8 million, or €11.5 million.

How did Mamic purchase silence from Arsenal’s leaders; do they know that his sale of Balaban to Aston Villa 3.5 years ago resulted in a conflict in the club? Manager John Gregory was banished from Aston Villa, among other things, because of speculations that he inflated the value of Balaban, who was recently proclaimed one of the 50 worst deals in the English football league, in a silent deal with Mamic. Mamic defended himself by saying that he only saw Gregory once and he negotiated with the president of the club Doug Ellis, not with Gregory; he also stated that the entire deal is as clean as a slate. Surely Arsenal does not want to have to clean up after cooperating with Mamic.