Over in Portugal Sporting CP have been going through a dramatic few months with the club President Bruno de Carvalho. Sporting are one of the top teams in Liga Nos with plenty of competition coming from Porto and city rivals Benfica. It's not been a bad season for the club, narrowly finishing third behind Porto and Benfica. Making it all the way to the quarter-finals in the Europa League, getting knocked out by eventually winners Atletico Madrid. They still have the Portuguese Cup final to come, playing against Aves and are big favourites to take home the trophy. There still remains tension at the club and we've outlined some of the events that have got Sporting CP to this point.
5th April 2018: Sporting lose 2-0 to Atletico
Atletico Madrid were favourites to win the Europa League as soon as they dropped into the competition and when Sporting CP drew them in the quarter-finals they were not expected to progress. The first leg saw Sporting travel to Madrid, losing the game 2-0 against a very strong Atletico side.
After the game Bruno de Carvalho took to facebook to air his grievances about the team's performance. He publicly criticised the players doubting their attitudes and commitment to the team. He labelled some of the players "useless" after missing goal scoring chance and getting "needless" yellow cards.
6th April 2018: Sporting players react to the comments
Not surprisingly the Sporting players were not happy about the comments the Club President made about their performance and criticism directed towards certain players. A statement was released by captain Rui Patricio saying in short they win and lose as a team, hitting back at Bruno de Carvalho's comments. Rui Patricio released the statement on his instagram and nineteen other squad members shared it around their own personal media channels.
7th April 2018: President suspends 19 Sporting players
Bruno de Carvalho did not take the players disapproval of his actions kindly. Labelling the players childish and suspended ever player that shared Rui Patricio's post. The players were: Rui Patrício, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes, Battaglia, Piccini, Palhinha, Coates, Acuña, Gelson, Podence, Bruno César, Montero, Bryan Ruiz, Rúben Ribeiro, Rafael Leão, Doumbia, Wendel , Coentrão and Ristovski. All part of the first and with a game the next day manager Jorge Jesus began preparations with the Sporting B team to face Aves in the Liga NOS.
8th April 2018: Players aren't suspended and beat Aves 2-0
The Sporting President decides not to suspend the players and they resume "normal" proceedings at the club. They go on to beat Aves 2-0 in the League keeping them within touching distance of the top two and a Champions League qualification place.
13th May 2018: Sporting miss out on Champions League Qualification
Sporting lost their last game of the season 2-1 to Maritimo which meant they narrowly miss out on Champions League football for another season. The top two of Liga Nos qualify and they finished third behind Porto and city rivals Benfica.
14th May 2018: Backroom staff are suspended
After failing to finish inside the top two reports come out that the clubs manager and backroom staff are suspended.
Later in the day President Bruno de Carvalho denies these claims and the staff resumes "normal" duties.
15th May 2018: 50 hooligans attack the Sporting players at their training centre
With the regualr season over Sporting continue training with the Portuguese Cup final to come. Whilst at the training centre 50 hooded and masked men break in and brutally attack the players and staff with sticks and belts.
Club top goal scorer, Bas Dost, was treated for a wound on his forehead and needed six stitches, Misic and Battaglia also were treated for injuries. The club Physiotherapist and his assistant were assaulted and many others believed to be victims to this brutality.
17th May 2018: President incited the attack?
After the attack rumours begin to surface that Bruno de Carvalho incited the vicious attack on the players and staff at the Sporting training centre.
With all the problems this season and it's ties to the club President the coaching staff begin to look it way to get out their current contracts. If the rumours are true, that the President had involvement in the attacks they may have just cause to get out.
18th May 2018: Bruno de Carvalho refuses to resign
The aftermath of the attack on the team has seen five board members resign already. However, Bruno de Carvalho has come out to say that he will remain at the club. Carvalho has been the President of Sporting since 2013 and enjoyed some success at the club. However, this season he's gone of the rails and caused numerous problems.
Will Sporting have a team next season?
It has been a dramatic season for the Sporting players. After being suspended earlier on in the season to 50 men assaulting them inside their own training centre. Midfielder Bruno Fernandez has already said his good byes to his teammates stating that he will leave the club.
Sporting have some very talented players, Bas Dost has been prolific all around Europe and in Gelson Martins and William Carvalho they have some of Portugal's best talents. The players don't feel protected at the club and if Bruno de Carvalho remains more players may try to force a move.
Despite all this Sporting have the Portuguese Cup coming up on the 20th May. They play Aves and are big favourites, they can still end this season on a positive note with a win.