A press conference was held today at the headquarters of the Club Sports da Madeira to clarify institutional issues and the position of the Club regarding what it considers to be "a total disrespect by the Santana Municipal Council, one of the sponsors of the 2022 edition of the Rali Vinho da Madeira".
José Paulo Fontes, Chairman of the CSM and of the Organizing Committee of the Rali Vinho da Madeira, begins by highlighting and thanking the words of the President of the Regional Government, Miguel Albuquerque, recognizing the importance of the RVM as an international event. Being so, it is one of the events that most promotes tourism in Madeira, and has a strong economic impact in the Region and particularly in the municipalities and all places where the race takes place.
This is in fact one of the main reasons for the holding of the event, "as everyone knows it is a race much cherished by the population, therefore, party political issues are not at stake, because the Madeira Sports Club has always had the best relations with all institutions and the itinerary and route of the Rali Vinho da Madeira has never been drawn up in accordance with any imposition".
"The Organizing Club of Rali Vinho da Madeira has always, in all its organizations, proceeded and had the greatest cordiality in the relationships with all the institutions and with all the sponsors, in a bet on proximity between the various entities. The Municipality of Santana has had a behaviour of total disrespect and silence, creating "a wall", in an attitude of disrespect and disregard. The president of the municipality since 02nd August 2022 has ignored the various requests for meetings, the various phone calls, emails, not responding to any of these contacts. But surprisingly, after a publication of the Diário de Notícias, he was very quick to respond through a statement and took refuge in the worst that one can take, which is the technical-legal issue of support to subsidies.
The Rali Vinho da Madeira is an event that is highly sponsored and supported by public entities and, therefore, the entire genesis and the entire Rally is subject to the rules of application of public funds, always valuing transparency in the management of accounts.
For these reasons, it is important to clarify the chronology of the facts in the communication between the SJC and the Municipality of Santana:
26th July 2022 - The RVM 2022 secretariat was informed that the Santana City Council was going to take to the Town Council Meeting the approval of the support to the event, but that they already requested the income and expenses map of the event.
02nd August 2022 - It was answered that first it would be necessary to know what support the Chamber was going to approve, as the request, which was the same for all Chambers, was intended to fund the policing and support of the firefighters that were needed for the Special Stage, therefore the support was specifically directed to those two sectors. He was also informed "that it didn't make sense for them to be asking for a map, when they hadn't yet said how much they had approved".
22nd November 2022 - The President of the Club Sports da Madeira, sent an email to the Santana City Hall, to the Presidency Support Office and also to the councillors, where information was requested about the amount of the support subsidy to RVM 2022 in order to cover the costs with policing and intervention of the firemen in Santana 1 and Santana 2 Special Stages.
There was no response
24th January 2023 - The President of the Madeira Sports Club and the RVM Organization Committee sent a new email informing that he was waiting for a reply to the emails sent previously and to the request for a meeting with the Mayor, mentioning, "the Club still did not know the amount of the subsidy attributed". It was also added that "we are awaiting a response, since we are in the preparation phase of the RVM 2023 itinerary and as we have often stated the event will only take place in areas and municipalities where it is well received and supported by local entities and institutions".
The invoices from the Santana Voluntary Fire Brigade and the Câmara de Lobos Voluntary Fire Brigade, which were called to reinforce the team at the Santana Special Stage, were settled.
February 01st, 2023 - A new email was sent with the following content: "As there is no response from you to the various emails and requests for contact, a fact that shows a clear lack of interest in addressing the passage of the RVM by the municipality of Santana, which we register as a lack of institutional consideration for the Club Sports of Madeira and personal to its president, we inform you that as decided, the event will only have Special Classification Competitions in municipalities where it is well received and supported by local entities. As there is no interest nor support from Santana Municipality we inform that the competitions held in the municipality shall be removed from Rali Vinho da Madeira 2023 itinerary".
February 17th, 2023 - An email was received from the assistant of the presidency of Santana's City Hall, where "on behalf of the councillor Élia Gouveia, informs that the City Hall is preparing a response to your requests, apologizing for the delay, but soon we will send the proper communication".
Still on that day, February 24th, the City Hall informed that the support request was received, which was approved in a Board meeting, they also informed that they send the Program Contract draft, where they indicate the value. On that day it is stated for the first time the amount available to support Club Sports da Madeira in RVM 2022 in the value of 5000€ (five thousand euros).
From this date onwards, there has been no further communication, no response, no sending of the Programme Contract ready for signing, and no contact requesting documentation.
The final report of the RVM 2022 was sent to the Municipality of Santana, the same that was delivered to the Municipality of Ponta do Sol. "We have to give proof of where we apply the money. Everything that Santana Municipality refers in its first statement is done with the greatest transparency, with the greatest honesty, not only for the Regional Government, but for all entities that have supported us with public money. The Municipality of Santana failed to answer with the truth of the facts and took refuge in technical-legal arguments of public support legislation which were never in question and opted for the worst reasons and justifications.
As for your silence, the denial of service on the phone, the failure to schedule meetings, the lack of information and communication, nothing was said, the goal was to pass the buck, you were not true and tried to pass the responsibility to the organization of Rali Vinho da Madeira, trying to pass to public opinion that this would be a party political issue. There is no issue, there never was.
All our sponsors and official entities know the smoothness of our negotiation processes and rendering of accounts. It was only with the current mayor that there was this kind of inelegance and misunderstanding, because with the previous president Dr. Teófilo Cunha, we always had the best relationships, collaboration and understandings.
For us, Club Sports da Madeira nothing moves us against the people of Santana, nor against the shopkeepers of Santana. It was us who put the SS of Santana in the RVM itinerary, not the current president, nor the councillors. We are happy to have the SS of Santana in Rali Vinho da Madeira.
We are not burning the deadlines".