There has been a passive-aggressive dispute between Fatih Terim and the Galatasaray administration going on since the beginning of the season. First, it started with a few disagreements over the transfers made in the summer, Terim claimed that the players he wanted were not transferred and the administration, through their representatives in the media, claimed that the squad was designed after Terim's plans.
As the team was eliminated from the Champions League and struggled in the Turkish Super League, a few disagreements became a huge rift between Fatih Terim and the administration, as both sides accused the other of not cooperating enough through the media. The latest and the clearest difference between the two sides is the transfer rumors of Arda Turan, and it seems that in Turan's case there is a power struggle going on in the club.
It is no secret that both Fatih Terim and the fans want to see Terim as the chairman of the club sometime, as he has always been more than just a manager for Galatasaray. No other manager has had the influence he has in the club and most probably no one else ever will. Galatasaray fans do not consider him as a normal manager who prepares strategies and tactics and all of the other boring stuff. He is Fatih Terim and he gets things done. That is why he is called "the emperor" among the fans and he has nearly unlimited credit in the club.
His influence is so strong that even when he was in charge of the Turkish national team last time, he was not only the manager of the team but the football director of Turkey. In the last decade Terim never got "sacked," in a way that other managers did. He either resigned with full honors and rested a bit, or simply switched between Galatasaray and the national team. Throughout this process, he created for himself an unquestionable character that shaped the future of football in Turkey. Give the devil his due, even though I always found his way of playing football chaotic and irrational, I have to admit that he is a true master when it comes to staying at the top.
However, this time things are going south pretty fast for Galatasaray and it is still a question whether the much-awaited month of January will solve issues, as Terim promised. In the last part of the season, he accused the players of not giving their best and failing the Galatasaray spirit. So he changed the squad drastically by getting rid of players like Ryan Babel and Steven Nzonzi, and by bringing back Henry Onyekuru. Nonetheless, the dramatic change in the squad did not lead to dramatic changes in the way Galatasaray plays, and that means Terim is running out of options.
I argue that Arda Turan's unexpected transfer rumors to Galatasaray and Terim's even more unexpected eagerness to transfer him, despite the clear rejection of the board, signals a fight between Terim and the administration. If the results get better as Terim promises, business will be as usual and both sides can move on although they dislike each other. But if Galatasaray falls way below the expectations this season, then it is guaranteed that either Terim or the administration will pay the price. Normally one would say that it would be the manager, but in Terim's case, everything is different. Everyone is fair game as Galatasaray tries to hang on to their championship claims.
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