No easy way out of debt for Turkey’s biggest soccer teams

The Turkish Football Federation and the Bank Association(BA) of Turkey has put on ice an initiative known as the ‘new debt revolution’ that had aimed to help the top four football teams in the country.

The suggestion was put on the table in a bid to assist the big four clubs, this has however drawn questions and concerns. The questions and concerns grew as the suggestion rescue amount grew ten more times, as compared to the initially suggested figure.

Hüseyin Aydin, chairman of the Bank Association (TBB), told ASport during a live broadcast that the clubs owed fifteen different financial institutions already, and there was no intention to approve new debts to the soccer teams.

Yıldırım Demiroren(left), chairman of Turkish Football Federation, Hüseyin Aydin(right) chairman of Bank Association of Turkey. (Photo: Sondakika)

During the same broadcast, the chairman of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), Yıldırım Demirören echoed comments made by Aydin.

Risk analysis and payment portions

Aydin said: “With this debt reconstruction we will try to do the same thing for the football economy, which is the way we have been doing to help out other companies at moment. We will not carry the all credit risk to the same location which nobody should consider liable to us on that.

Aydin emphasized that the current debt that the clubs owe will not be written off. He said the banks that are owed will also be added to the system and deposit payments will be divided into portions and extended over a period of time.

This must not be seen as a rescue for the four grandeurs

The four mentioned big soccer clubs are Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor.

Demirören said that this cannot be described as “the rescue operation for the four grandeurs. The four grandeurs refers to the above-mentioned football teams that have the biggest support across Turkey. He clarified that the matter was not only handled by the BA, but other corporations were working with the football authority as the debt reconstruction was really about the “balance-sheet.”

It’s fair play – depthless clubs get recognised for their good credit

The TFF chairman went further to state that banks will look at clubs that have sustainable credit records before granting any further credit. He said a “bitter recipe” was in store for clubs that expect to be spoon-fed by the association or banks.

Demirören said: “Clubs would have to make transfers in line with the budgets that are suggested with regard to the debt reconstruction. It’s not about transferring money that isn’t in the clubs’ books. We will present an offer to Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak to credit debtless clubs such as Başakşehir A.Ş, Kasımpaşa and Göztepe as a promotion.”

Financial Reconstruction of the clubs not a takeover

Aydin said “along with the Foreign Exchange and inserters rate, there are considerable restrictions locally and globally. We are not ‘taking over’ the companies but ‘reshaping’ them. We are giving immortality water to the company. In line with debt reconstruction of the companies, all financial institutions are part of this. We will reshape the debt of those companies which have difficulty in repayments due to increasingly high foreign exchange rates.”

Big four, Big debt

Debt increase in four biggest football clubs of Turkey (Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor) has risen 985 percent in the past ten years. As the total debt had been just 825 million Lira in total in 2008, this amount is now more than 8 billion TL. (Around $1,5 billion)

“USD exchange rate will be 7.5 lira in 2019” was not a prediction, but an example: Economist

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