The new Turkish Football Federation regulations are good but not enough

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published 13.07.2019 00:54

The new Turkish Football Federation (TFF) administration issued a set of financial regulations just a month taking the office. The new regulations include transfer bans, point deductions and squad limitations added to the usual fines.

Pitched as the Club License Instructions, the new regulations follow the last set of regulations introduced by former Chairman Yıldırım Demirören. Just like the last ones, the new regulations will impose a spending limit on all clubs. These limits will be checked both at the beginning of the season and at the end of the season. Thus, with increased punishment and enhanced supervision, the local Financial Fair Play (FFP) system of the Turkish Football Federation could be called the old FFP on steroids.

Do not get me wrong, I am all for more regulations and punishment for the shrewd businessmen ruling Turkish football, and as new Chairman Nihat Özdemir said these regulations arrived late. Nonetheless, the chronic problem of Turkish football is still there - how will these regulations be implemented? Even the last local FFP system should have forced clubs to save more and spend less, but as you know shrewd businessmen are very creative in evading regulations, and Turkish clubs kept getting worse.

Turkish football doesn't need instructions that are not crystal clear and open to interpretation, because being elastic with the rules and very enthusiastic to traverse the grey areas have led Turkish football into the debt crisis in the first place.

The first and foremost problem with the new regulations is that they do not reveal how exactly the transfer limits will be enforced. For instance, on exactly what grounds will Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe or Beşiktaş face the limits? In the press conference for the new regulations, Chairman Özdemir only said that clubs would have to balance their budget before making new transfers. But for the new regulation to have deterrence, the exact limits should be stated so that the final decision can't be open to interpretation. The TFF must make clear that there will be no elasticity in the execution of the regulations.

Right now, what Turkish football needs more than anything is a strong leadership strictly defending financial stability and order. That requires getting rid of individuals who do not care about the well-being of Turkish football clubs.

Without targeting individuals, you still create a safe space for businessmen to play their tricks and evade the rules. As long as the bill only stays with the club and not the people who caused it, we cannot achieve ultimate financial stability and order in Turkish football. That is why the rules should be crystal clear and must hold individuals accountable. Without these, any regulation is fundamentally deficient, but I, of course, welcome all efforts to stabilize Turkish football.

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