From a lone fan to the most successful club’s president in 8 years. This is the story of Tiago Rech.
In 2012, journalist Tiago Rech was the only supporter in the Santa Cruz home match against Gremio. And his team lost 1-4.
A few years later, he got a job at his favourite club, and in 2018 he became president.
On friday, Santa Cruz won the State Championship and made it to the Brazilian Cup for the first time in 107 years.
Dreams come true.
From lone fan to president of Santa Cruz-RS in the most important title in the history of the club. Eight years after being caught alone in a grandstand, Tiago Rech saw the heart team lift the title of the FGF Cup (Gaúcha Football Federation) and thus guarantee a spot in the 2021 Brazil Cup, in addition to the Recopa Gaúcha dispute against the Grêmio .
Throughout this period, Rech, 33 years old and a trained journalist, had to deal with recurring problems in the routine of small teams, such as lack of money and sports instability.
To build the champion team, with a victory on penalties over São José last Tuesday (22), Rech counted on the accumulated experience, the investment of partners and resources coming from the purchase of Tiago Volpi, made by São Paulo a year ago , as part of the goalkeeper’s training took place at Santa Cruz, the club won around R $ 100,000, ensured by FIFA’s solidarity mechanism.
“So far, I have not been hit hard, it was one of the most exciting days of my life. Being president of a country club is not easy. I put my money in, from my family, I received a lot of ‘no’, but I always kept that dream to win a title, “said Rech in an interview with UOL Esporte .
In his third term as president, Rech managed to reinforce the squad with players who were standing in the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic . In addition to part of the value of Volpi’s purchase, the club benefited from the sale of attacking midfielder Pedro Henrique, who also graduated in the youth teams and who moved from Greek to Turkish football .
“We played in the Copinha (Copa FGF) with a group made up of experienced players and many young people. He gave a call, we formed a family. I was confident, I formed other teams here and we feel when it will result in victory,” said Rech.
The current president’s rise began a year after the famous solitary photo in the stands of the Olympic stadium. The record came during a 4-1 defeat by Grêmio, in the Campeonato Gaúcho. In the following season, Santa Cruz was relegated to the second division of the State, in the year of the centenary.
“I was working at the RBS group at the time, as a journalist. At the end of 2013, I wanted to move back to Santa Cruz. They called me to be the club’s press officer, and I started to take a liking. I got the advisers together and suggested that the team played all year to have continuity, not to build a squad for only three months “, recalled the official.
In the same year, Rech was invited to run for president. Elected, he took office at the age of 27 for a 12-month term. At the end of 2018, he returned to the post, months after the team fell to the third division of the State.
“The club was in debt and we were working slowly to pay it off. In 2019, in the first year of the third division, we set up a modest team, with many young people and players from the city. The box office also helped,” he said. “The seven years that have gone by have been very bad for the club. We fell twice. The club was in a difficult situation, but we finally managed to be reborn.”
Expectations are now high. Participation in the Copa do Brasil will yield just over R $ 500 thousand, five times more than the amount received in the Volpi transaction – São Paulo bought the goalkeeper after a loan agreed with Querétaro, from Mexico.
In addition, Rech expects to increase sponsorship revenues. The first step of this new phase is the meeting with Grêmio in the final in a single game from Recopa Gaúcha. The same opponent in the famous photo of the lone fan, now president.