Fikret Orman to step down as Beşiktaş chairman

Published 24.09.2019 12:02
Updated 24.09.2019 15:29
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Beşiktaş President Fikret Orman announced Tuesday that he would step down after seven years at his post amid mounting criticism.

Orman explained his decision by saying Beşiktaş needed fresh blood. The club will hold an extraordinary meeting Wednesday, he added.

Fans have often booed Orman and his administration in league matches over the string of weak performances the team has displayed in recent years.

Orman was again targeted by disgruntled spectators following Monday's 1-1 draw against Medipol Başakşehir.

The Black Eagles, which hold 15 league titles, are 11th with just five points as of week five of the Süper Lig but their worst performance was against Başakşehir.

The team also fared badly in their 4-2 defeat to Slovan Bratislava in last week's UEFA Europa League game.

Orman took the helm in 2012, replacing Yıldırım Demirören, a prominent tycoon who later served as the head of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).

During Orman's term, Beşiktaş won back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017 and dominated the Süper Lig, a success for which former coach Şenol Güneş is credited with.

Güneş's last term was far from impressive and he exited at the end of the last season for the national team. The club replaced him with former Başakşehir coach Abdullah Avcı.

The Black Eagles, like other powerhouses of Turkish football, is struggling with debt. Media reports say the club has a debt of TL 2.6 billion but Beşiktaş still managed to recruit eight new players this season.

Rumors on social media claimed Demirören was lobbying for a return to the post, though he denied the rumors.

Orman announced that the club would hold an extraordinary meeting today for his successor.

Speaking to reporters after the club signed a sponsorship deal at Vodafone Park on Tuesday, Orman said his presidency "harmed the club." He complained of "infighting" in the club since he took the post.

"It is heartbreaking to see quarrels, efforts to damage the image of the club administration, to see people organizing protests on social media. It all started about one year ago. Until then, I was praised for managing the club's economy best and all of a sudden, I saw fans chanting insults. This was an ambush," he said.

The chairman cited his past accomplishments against criticism. "I am one of the architects of a deal with the banking union (against debts)," he said.

Orman also defended his decision to hire Abdullah Avcı, something criticized by fans. "We needed to find a new coach and we did. We needed to decrease costs and we did," he told reporters.

Orman said he has run out of "energy" fending off his detractors. "I am not tired but I am heartbroken and sorry. What did I do to these people? Fans shout at me in matches. I see young fans being organized to chant against me," he said.

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