The Eagles may fly back to Europe after all as Beşiktaş announced it applied to UEFA for eligibility in European tournaments after the Istanbul-based club paid off all its debts, its vice president announced Thursday.
Ahmet Nur Çebi told reporters that the club had no trouble regarding Financial Fair Play and they paid even "the lowest extra fees" for all its players. Financial Fair Play requires clubs qualified for UEFA competitions to prove they do not have overdue payables towards other clubs, their players and social/tax authorities throughout the season.
Speaking to reporters a few hours after the club submitted documents proving the payment of debts, Çebi said they were "financially ready" for the 2016-2017 season and paid about TL 17 million to get rid of debts. "We submitted a report on all debts the club owed to players up until December 2015, on payment of transfer fees to other clubs et cetera." Çebi thanked Eagles fans for "bearing the burden of the club." "Our revenues have fallen recently as we did not have a stadium," Çebi said, referring to the lengthy rebuilding process of the club's stadium, which is scheduled to open next month. "Yet, fans quickly boosted season ticket sales in a short time and this helped us to pay all our debts and to receive loans to improve the means of the club. We are grateful to our fans," he said.
Turkish clubs are struggling to pay debts after years of heavy spending. Earlier this month, Galatasaray were banned from UEFA competitions for a year for failing to meet financial fair play criteria.