REUTERS: Rio de Janeiro club Botafogo were relegated to Brazil's Serie B for the second time in six seasons on Friday after a 1-0 home defeat to Sport.
The club, once home to Brazilian greats Garrincha, Didi, Carlos Alberto and Jairzinho, have won only four of 34 games since the season began in August.
Friday’s defeat left them bottom of the table with four games to go and no chance of escaping relegation.
Big-name signings Keisuke Honda of Japan and Ivory Coast’s Salomon Kalou have not lived up to expectations while the club have had three coaches take charge of the team.
Another, Argentine Ramon Diaz, was hired and fired without even coaching a game.
Huge debts have also led to difficulties behind the scenes.
“It’s difficult to say what feeling predominates, that of sadness or rage,” sports columnist Juca Kfouri wrote after the latest defeat.
“The worst thing is the lack of perspective, of seeing no light at the end of the tunnel.”
Botafogo were relegated in 2002 and 2014 and both times bounced straight back up to Serie A.
(Reporting by Andrew Downie in London; Editing by Peter Rutherford)