FC Porto, the coveted giants of the Primeira Liga, have won many prestigious honours in recent times, most notably the unforgettable treble Andre Villas-Boas flawlessly led them to last season. 

As a result, many could be forgiven for failing to recollect another footballing force from Porto, Boavista FC, one of only two clubs outside the Três Grandes (big three) to lift the Primeira Liga trophy.

Boavista FC were famously crowned Primeira Liga champions in 2001, showcasing one of the best attacks in the league and conceding fewer goals throughout than any of their opponents. Despite this remarkable achievement Boavista were unable to build on their deserved success - numerous changes to management proved unsuccessful and the depletion of the clubs finances hindered their ability to compete.

A number of indifferent campaigns followed, and in the 2008/09 season despite achieving a 9th place finish in the league, the club were condemned to relegation due to alleged intimidation of referees, believed to have taken place in the 2003/04 season.

Following their relegation in 2009, a now financially stricken Boavista stumbled to a hapless 15th place finish in the Portuguese First Division. Despite being clear of the relegation zone, the substantial debt within the club ensured their demotion to the Portuguese Second Division regardless.

The Portuguese Second Division was where Boavista FC looked set to remain. Yet, after so much misfortune, the club were knocked on the head by lady luck.

A court of appeal in Lisbon recently ruled that the decision taken to demote the Porto club back in 2008 for referee intimidation was in fact ill-conceived and unfounded.

Following this dramatic development club president João Loureiro spoke publicly of the encouraging ruling and its potential significance. 

He said: "It was a historic decision, which succeeds others taken. It was a giant step in relation to what we hope and want. It is a highly favourable decision (but) we will be patient, responsible, serene and discrete”. 

He went on to add: "We just want to be compensated in regard to sport and patrimony for those mistakes".

The decision to uphold Boavista’s appeal could now pave the way for the club to return to the Primeira Liga, however the pretences to accommodate this are yet to be defined. 

Whether the club can realistically make a sustainable return to the league given their erratic financial standing is very much in doubt. And the issue remains that in order to reinstate the Porto based team to the Primeira Liga another club may have to be relegated from the top division. 

Such promotion remains a dream at the moment, but it's fair to say that Boavista are once again heading in the right direction.



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