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Corinthians claims Odebrecht deal on stadium debt

Corinthians has announced that it has reached an agreement with construction company Odebrecht to substantially reduce the debt the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A football club owes for the development of its stadium.

Odebrecht was the main contractor for the development of Arena Corinthians, which opened with a capacity of 68,000 for Brazil’s staging of the 2014 FIFA World Cup before being scaled back to its current capacity of 49,000.

The Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reported that Corinthians president Andrés Sanchez stated at a club meeting that an agreement has been reached to reduce the stadium debt from around R$800m (€180.6m/$201.9m) to R$160m.

Sanchez said a final agreement is set to be signed in the next fortnight, but Odebrecht claims that a deal has yet to be agreed. A statement read: “Odebrecht reinforces that it continues to have constructive talks with the club in search of a solution that meets the expectations of both parties.”

Corinthians has disputed the money that it owes to Odebrecht, claiming that the company failed to complete certain areas of the stadium development. Odebrecht has denied this and the settlement will reportedly mean that Corinthians will drop any further action on this subject.

The Maquina do Esporte website said that the debt Corinthians owes will be partly reduced through the club passing over to Odebrecht the Certificate of Development Incentives (CIDs) it received from the municipality to locate its new stadium in the neighbourhood of Itaquera in Sao Paulo. The CIDs are said to be valued at around R$300m, with the remainder of the debt to be paid in instalments.

Sanchez also disclosed at Monday’s meeting that the club is also seeking to reorganise a debt currently reported to be around R$470m with the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). This is currently being paid off through matchday revenue from events at Arena Corinthians.

Image: Arena Corinthians