An inspiration for native and national football, Dalkurd FF
by Arda Alan Işık
ISTANBULJul 26, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Arda Alan Işık
Jul 26, 2016 12:00 am
In my last piece, I emphasized the importance of making the Turkish football economy import-independent given the recent extraordinary events in the country. Hence, the most crucial element for building a self-sufficient system is developing and investing in youth talent in the country, which Turkey has failed to do in modern times. Nevertheless, there are a lot of inspirational stories around the world that could encourage Turkey to transform its football. Dalkurd FF, which was founded by Kurdish immigrants, most of them from Turkey, in the little Swedish town of Dalarna is a great example.
Turkish football has a lot to learn from this club, which has been promoted six times in the last 10 years, they are now in the second highest league in Sweden, Superettan. The club has managed to climb to the second-best league in Sweden with an annual budget of just 300,000 euros, which is a remarkable number when compared to Turkish PTT 1. League teams, who get 3-4 million euros from broadcasting, sponsors and the Turkish Football Federation. Still, unfortunately there is no success story in Turkish football like Dalkurd's despite their enormous budgets. Thus, it is obvious that the industrialization of football in Turkey missed the true spirit of football. However, Dalkurd chairman Ramazan Kızıl says beautiful football and developing the youth system at Dalarna were their ultimate goals when they founded the club and not much has changed since they moved to within a promotion of the Allsvenskan, the top football league in Sweden. As a melting pot for Kurdish, Turkish and other ethnic minorities in the country, the club also greatly serves integration for immigrants in Sweden. Even just imagining Syrian, Kurdish or any other ethnic minority in Turkey managing to achieve similar success makes butterflies dance in my stomach.
Thanks to their unusual success, Dalkurd has caught the attention of sponsors and funders, giving the club a $1 million budget to operate this season. As you can see, an initiative by a small group of Kurdish immigrants in Dalarna now has $1 million to improve and spread their philosophy to the best league in Sweden. Now the question is, what stops Turkish clubs from doing this? The answer is simple, there is not enough money in this kind of an approach for shrewd Turkish executives to exploit football without producing anything.
At this point, as I noted in my last piece, I do not think there is a way to convince these people to transform their economic habitat, they have so much to lose. Rather, the elected government and football federation must impose strict financial regulations to get rid of these kind of people. Only then can Turkish football create some space for those who simply want to produce and invest in Turkish football. If a small group of Kurdish immigrants can achieve this much in so little time, Turkey can also follow their steps to make a revolution in football. Turkish people just showed everyone that they deserve the best, and football should not be spared in this new era.