Turkish Football News

Spend less, win more; Turkish football style

Spend less, win more; Turkish football style

The smaller clubs in Turkey have taken the league by a storm this season as multiple teams have spent almost nothing on transfers yet are in the upper half of the table beating out the likes of Fenerbahce and Besiktas.

The one thing in common for three teams in the higher ranks of the Super Lig is that they did not spend money for transfers this season. They are also not based in Istanbul, the country’s most populated city that is also home to the so-called “Big Three” of Turkish football, namely, Besiktas, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray. Yet, after just 12 weeks of competitive action this season, they have managed to climb up to the upper half of the league table.

Yeni Malatyaspor from the eastern city of Malatya, Antalyaspor of the eponymous Mediterranean city and Ankaragucu, one of the two prominent clubs of the Turkish capital, did not spend any money on transfers according to data from the Transfermarkt and FutbolArena websites. Sivasspor and Akhisarspor, which respectively are placed in 11th and 14th place in the Super Lig, also stand out as clubs which did not pay money for new transfers.

The clubs stand in stark contrast with Fenerbahce who spent the most on transfers this season; €16 million. Despite the big money transfers they are sitting at the bottom end of the league in 13th place. Similarly, Besiktas is clinging to seventh place despite being the third most spending team, with €6.59 million.

Turkish football’s powerhouses were hit by UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations in recent years which has affected their transfer dealings while fluctuating currency rates and financial bottlenecks forced smaller clubs to be more careful in the transfer market. They developed new scouting models, tried their luck with local and fledgling coaches and sought to transfer players with no clauses in their deals to pay the club which sells them.

Under Erol Bulut, who transitioned to coaching with his first assistant manager job in 2012 after an 18-year career as a player, Yeni Malatyaspor started their steady rise to the top ranks last season and without paying anything this season for transfers to clubs, it has managed to snatch 4th place in the league.

Guilherme and Aleksic have consistently delivered on the pitch and continue to shine as club’s “free” transfers. They’ve helped Malatyaspor defeat Fenerbahce 1-0 and Galatasaray 2-0 this season. The team also saw its first 5-0 victory in its history when they demolished Trabzonspor.

Antalyaspor, which boasted international stars like Samuel Eto’o and Samir Nasri in the past but failed to achieve anything in previous seasons, also found success in not spending anything on transfers. Bulent Korkmaz, best remembered as the great captain of Galatasaray, has guided the team to fifth place as their coach.

Ankaragucu, which made a comeback to the Super Lig after six years, stuck with coach Ismail Kartal and his decision not to pay for new transfers has paid off. The club based in the Turkish capital finds themselves in sixth place in the Super Lig. Ankaragucu even delivered a shock 3-1 defeat to Fenerbahce, something unimaginable for the team a few years ago. The team had been enjoying a streak of three wins before an untimely loss to Konyaspor.

Unlike Malatyaspor and Antalyaspor, Ankaragucu transferred key players like Djedje of Watford, Bakary Kone of Malaga, El Kabir of Antalyaspor, Bifouma of Sivasspor and Alessio Cerci of Verona but they made no payments to their clubs as part of the deals.

source: dailysabah

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