SC Olhanense’s inevitable relegation from the Segunda Liga was confirmed after they drew 1-1 at Vizela last weekend. Even in the unlikely event of winning their last six games, Olhanense would fail to climb out of the bottom four, who will all drop down into non-league football next season.
Tiago Ronaldo opened the scoring for the home side in the 20th minute with Gerevini getting the Olhanense equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
Fifteen minutes after the break, the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Tiago Duque received his second red card of the season. Despite their numerical advantage, the home was unable to snatch a winner with Luis Ferraz going closest with a free-kick that cannoned off the crossbar.
President of SC Olhanense, Isidoro Sousa, said: "This is a sad day for the club and I still do not believe what is happening," with the end of a 13-year period when the club has played in the top two professional leagues. How the club will now proceed is very much down to the Italian investors under the leadership of former Italian World Cup referee Luigi Agnolin.
SC Olhanense are now the subject of a second PER (Special Revitalisation Process) whereby the club must come to an agreement with its creditors. These are dark days for a club that celebrates its 105th anniversary later this month.
"For now, we are doing what was agreed, although with great difficulties, but I fear for the future," said Isidoro Sousa.
Elections are scheduled for May 2, if candidates are forthcoming. Isidoro Sousa added: "I call on the people of Olhão including those in charge of the Council, with whom there will be a meeting soon, and the 500 paying socio-members to unite in a concerted effort to save this historic club.”
Former FC Porto and Portugal international Jorge Costa, who took Olhanense up to the Primeira Liga in 2009, said: “It saddens me to see what is happening at Olhanense and in particular for the wonderful people of Olhão who do not deserve to see the club sink so low."
Costa, who managed Olhanense between 2008 and 2010, recalled that historic day in May 2009. “I experienced one of the happiest days of my coaching career, when we gained promotion to the Primeira Liga for the first time for more than 30 years.”
By CHRIS WRIGHT