John Textor, an American businessman who owns 90% of Botafogo’s SAF, gave an interview to “Seleção sportv” on Thursday. Textor admitted that he did not consider Nelton Santos the ideal stadium for the club’s future.
– There is no football stadium built around it with an Olympic track.
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John Texter during an interview with “Seleção sportv” – Photo: sportv
Explaining his position, Textor mentioned the stadium at Celherst Park, Crystal Palace, which had a capacity of 25,000 people. The venue supports 20,000 fewer people than Nelton Santos, but the crowd position puts pressure on opponents during matches.
– Crystal Palace Stadium is small, not very impressive, but it is crowded. It has an energy, it’s a way to feel connected to the audience, it helps the players. It helps to have an entertaining experience for the fans, that’s what we need for Botafogo.
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Fans cling to the field at Celhurst Park, Crystal Palace Stadium – Photo: Warren Little / Getty Images
In December last year, before the sale of SAF, Botafogo agrees with City of Rio to extend stadium discount until 2051. John Textor even considered casting Nelton Santos, but he finds it unworkable. So he started looking for land in Rio de Janeiro to build a stadium.
– Replacing Nelton Santos will cost a lot. I want to see a structure that connects the social club and the football club. An installation in which the stadium, the youth category, the social part, everything generates the energy that drives our team. That’s what makes a successful club. I’m looking at the earth, I would say this is my long term goal.
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Nelton Santos Stadium opened for the Pan American Games in 2007 – Photo: Disclosure / BFR
In an interview with “Seleção sportv”, Textor also mentioned Botafogo’s search for help and admitted that the club was trying to get the services of Colombian James Rodriguez, who is currently in Ryan, Qatar.
– James told me he was looking for a new challenge. We talked, I hope I can convince you. But it’s not just a famous name, it has to play ball.