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REPORT: Sporting Owe Benfica €5 Million Over Oliveira Trade

Reports out of Portugal are that the trade that sent Kevin Oliveira to Atlanta was a “breach of contract.”

MLS: Western Conference Knockout Round-Sporting KC at Houston Dynamo John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Oliveira’s time in Kansas City may be done, but that doesn’t mean that the midfielder still isn’t coming up in the news with his now former club. It’s just about two weeks since Oliveira’s agent, Paulo Teixeira posted on Twitter that Sporting Kansas City and the Swope Park Rangers had cheated Oliveira and was followed up with a Facebook post where Teixeira laid out his claims against the club. Then earlier this week, the club traded Oliveira, Tyler Pasher, and a second round pick to Atlanta United for Kenwyne Jones, Alexander Tambakis, and a fourth round pick in a move that saw KC get two international players off their books for the expansion draft. All that looked to to be the end of things on Oliveira and his time in KC. That changed today when a report by Portuguese newspaper, Correio da Manha, said that Benfica was looking to collect 5 million Euros from the club because of the trade.

According to the report, when Oliveira was signed with the club from Benfica, there was a sell on clause in Oliveira’s contract where Benfica would receive 50% of any eventual sale of the Cape Verde international. It continues, stating that Oliveira’s contract could not be rescinded without Benfica being informed. The report also states that any transfer of Oliveira could not be for any less than 5 million Euros. The claim is that KC did not respect any of those clauses and because of that Benfica is looking to collect a 5 million Euro fee from SKC.

On Sporting’s side of things, if this goes anywhere, the club is likely going to fall back on the single entity structure of Major League Soccer. With the claim being that the two clubs (KC and Atlanta) are under the same umbrella and that the contract is held by MLS. With that, the move isn’t actually a transfer, but a trade within the American league. It is a clash of cultures and the terminology the two different cultures in terms of player movement. Kansas City and the league likely see nothing wrong happening here as in their world Oliveira’s move was not a transfer, but an intra-league trade of “assets.” Benfica on the other hand see it as the player moving from one club to another, whether within the same league or not, in the rest of the world that is considered a transfer.

One area of the report that seems off is in the claim that Benfica want the compensation they say they’re owed in the contract. If they were in fact supposed to receive 50% of a future sell on fee, and if he couldn’t be sold for less than 5 million Euros, why is Benfica looking to collect the whole supposed fee? If it’s all accurate, then Benfica should only be looking to collect 2.5 million Euros, 50% of a potential 5 million Euro bid. If this report really does have legs there will certainly be follow up on this and likely another trip to FIFA for Sporting KC, their second this year after the complaint by Honduras over Roger Espinoza in June.