Camilo sold to Queretaro FC
By Eric Wilkins, Sports Editor
What Canadian MLS team has some of the best fans in the league but consistently fails to deliver on the pitch? First name out of most everyone’s mouth would be Toronto FC. However, given the results of the last three seasons and the lack of any real progress, our own Vancouver Whitecaps are, unfortunately, a legitimate answer to the question as well. Worse still, the clubs are heading in opposite directions, and Vancouver isn’t the one trending up.
Case in point: the Whitecaps recently lost striker Camilo Sanvezzo to Mexican side Queretaro FC for a fee believed to be in the area of $2-million. “Lost” because this was not a move the club had been planning on making. It’s not so much that he’s gone that hurts the Whitecaps as it is the fashion in which he left. The Brazilian put up 22 goals last year, and a surprising number of those were off set pieces. That’s his career year. He’s never going to put up a better season than that. Don’t be surprised if (besides the fact he’s now playing for a team you’ve never heard of) you never hear his name again.
Back to how his departure hurts the team though, it’s because he bullied his way out of town. Camilo was under contract. Vancouver knew that. Camilo knew that. His agent knew that. And despite their claims of ignorance on the matter, unless Queretaro FC officials lack the capability to perform a quick Google search, they knew it as well. Camilo went down south, threw on Queretaro colours in front of a camera, and waited for the ‘Caps to cave.
Camilo had been open about his deserving a more lucrative contract. The question of whether or not one agrees with his “deserving” of a new deal is irrelevant. He had a contract—one that had already been upped just last season. Why should the club have to give in to wage demands? Camilo willingly, and likely quite happily, signed his last deal that the club put forth. The Whitecaps are bound to honour it, so why not Camilo? For the record, the definition of a contract is “a written or spoken agreement between two or more parties, intended to be enforceable by law.”
By allowing Camilo to have his way and skip town for big bucks, the Whitecaps showed a distinct lack of any kind of backbone. They would have done well to stand firm and keep the striker on their books. The legal high ground was theirs. If they didn’t want to sell him, he couldn’t leave. If he refused to play come the season, so be it—he’d come around eventually. Even the pouty prima donna would have to realize at some point that sitting on a bench isn’t going to help his value.
Club president Bob Lenarduzzi commented on the situation: “He said he had given Queretaro his word that he would be going there. So why are we going to battle someone who doesn’t want to be here, that’s actually reneged on his word when he signed a contract with us and then turned around and said to the club that he’s going to, who he doesn’t have a contract with, his word.”
Why are you going to battle with someone who signed a contract with you, Bob? You answered your own question.