The end is near for Turkish football's shrewd businessmen

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 22.06.2019 00:03

Last week, the BEIN group, the official broadcaster of the Turkish Süper Lig, asked for a discount in the fixed exchange rate it agreed to with the Turkish Süper Lig clubs.

Currently, the BEIN group pays $500 million for the broadcasting rights, with the exchange rate fixed on TL 4.51, but the company wants the exchange rate to be fixed at TL 3.80. This translates into an almost TL 520 million loss for Turkish clubs, a crucial blow during the worst financial crisis of Turkish football.

Nevertheless, Turkish clubs must agree, as there is no one else who would want to pay $500 million for Turkish football. Thus, now at a rapid pace, the shrewd businessmen of Turkish football have entered the final phase of their toxic industry. The important question is, however, how can we save Turkish football from going down with them?

First, we must face the truth: Turkish football, in its current state, has come to an end. The toxic financial structure of the leagues has dried up all the resources and has left Turkish football in an ocean of debt. The enormous greed and corrupted nature of executives, player agents, managers and players have done all of this damage.

The lack of strict regulations and supervision allowed these people to play all the tricks and fill their pockets with the money they should have spent on the future of Turkish football. Now, regardless of the fact we accept these facts or not, our hard-earned money is being spent by banks to save Turkish clubs from the quagmire they brought upon themselves.

Still, the clubs are still making fundraiser events like teenage entrepreneurs, as if the real problem is the temporary shortage of money. No, the money was always there, but the clubs, to put it mildly, "wasted" all of it deliberately and maliciously. Therefore, we should stop talking about how to save Turkish football from its current crisis. Turkish football - as it is now - is dead. What we should talk about instead is how we can rebuild football in this country, so that this kind of crisis does not occur again. That requires reducing the size of Turkish football to a controllable degree until we can make sure that growth can take place safely and justly.

Turkey can actually turn this horrendous financial crisis in football into a great opportunity if it can return to basics and invest in youth. The magnitude of this investment would be much smaller than that made on expired stars of the Süper Lig right now, but the returns would be much higher.

In addition, the institutions of Turkish football should regain the trust of the people, as almost no one believes that Turkish football is just. The football federation and the central refereeing committee must make sure that whoever accuses referees of fraud without evidence is punished severely. This would boost the confidence of referees and reduce the number of refereeing mistakes and the number of conspiracy theories. If we can make the right investments and strengthen the institutions, a bright day may come after this dismal period.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter