Sporting chief offers to quit to halt player exodus

Sporting Clube de Portugal's William Carvalho in action against Chelsea during the final UEFA Champions League Group G match at Stamford Bridge

Four more Sporting Lisbon players have rescinded their contracts with the troubled Portuguese club.

This has prompted a mass exodus at Estadio Jose Alvalade, with manager Jorge Jesus having already left the club and goalkeeper Rui Patricio and forward Daniel Podence looking to follow suit.

Following the exit of Rui Patricio, as well as head coach Jorge Jesus, the foursome of Dost, Carvalho, Martins and Fernandes chose to go public on Monday, and filed notice with the Portuguese Securities Market Commission that they meant to terminate their contracts, invoking "just cause" after being attacked in their workplace.

Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho is at the core of the disarray, and A Bola (h/t Hagen) reported Martins and Co. could reverse their decision to terminate their contracts if he were to leave the club.

Last month, about 50 fans forced their way into the team's training center and assaulted players and staff.

More than 20 suspects were detained by police following the incident.

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William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes and Gelson Martins, together with Dutch striker Bas Dost, have also cancelled their contracts with the Portuguese club.

"With all due respect for my colleagues who understand that they have the conditions to continue", Patricio wrote, "I understand that I do not have them and that I can not be required to maintain the contractual relationship".

The players responded by posting a joint statement defending their commitment to the club and questioning the manners of De Carvalho, saying he should support them as their "leader".

De Carvalho has refused to accept the legitimacy of a proposed vote on June 23 to depose him and his colleagues, following a tumultuous season which culminated in a shock defeat in the Portuguese Cup final by underdogs Desportivo Aves, five days after the fans' attack.

In April, De Carvalho threatened to suspend nearly the entire first-team squad, labelling them "spoilt children", according to the goalkeeper Patricio.

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