Yet another transfer bonanza for the shrewd businessmen

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
Published 07.09.2019 00:59

I am now truly convinced that Turkish fans enjoy transfer hype more than actual football. It is like buying a new device; you know that you don't actually need the damn thing, but the hype before buying it and the sweet period before getting used to it makes you addicted. Transfers in Turkey work completely the same way, almost all Turkish fans complain about the deep structural problems of Turkish football, but they suddenly become hypnotized like they're listening to Jigglypuff's song from Pokemon, when a new "superstar" arrives into the country.

Combined with the strong cooperation between executives, player agents and the media, in the end all that is left is the money in the pockets of shrewd businessmen. There is a secret agreement between all the clubs in the Süper Lig to keep this system working. Although none of them actually signed a contract to keep this hypnotic transfer period alive, they all know that in order to make money, they have to convince the public that they need to make transfers. The situation is so dire that regardless of their strength, if a team does not make enough transfers to satisfy the addiction of the fans, they face huge backlash. Football is probably the only industry in which consumerism is so subtle but also so powerful. It is almost unthinkable to create a new administrative method which does not rely on extreme spending.

However, no one questions why these players, who come from more prestigious leagues to the Süper Lig, are so eager to come to Turkey? Most of these players are near the end of their careers and it is obvious that they are not looking for a challenge after this point. Then what else other than extremely bloated financial offers could attract these players? Nothing. Radamel Falcao and Luiz Gustavo are here in Turkey because Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe offered them contracts that no one, except maybe some Gulf countries, would offer. Thus, it is clear that their motivation will be making money and enjoying themselves, rather than improving their football.

Then the more important question is what kind of an investment is this? Surely these players with their talent and experience will add some quality to their teams. But is the overall benefit of buying these players worth the gigantic contracts offered to them? For instance, Falcao will earn 5 million euros ($5.52 million) per year from Galatasaray to score lots of goals, but there is a small problem: Galatasaray does not have a plan on how to make him score. Just like in the device metaphor, the unnecessary technical details and the beautiful design of the device makes you buy it, but what you actually should do is to understand your real needs. In Turkish football's case, it is sustainable administration and long-term investment. I know that the latest iPhone seems so cool in the store, but before buying it we need to understand why there is not a single dime left in our bank accounts.

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