Turkish Football News

Turkish football clubs handed financial lifeline

Turkish football clubs handed financial lifeline

Turkish football clubs have been given a lifeline by the country’s bank regulator.

Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), along with the presidents of the country’s football clubs competing in the Turkish Super Lig met this week to discuss the restructuring of football club’s debts, Diken news site reported on Saturday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak also support the initiative of the football federation to help football clubs struggling with increasing debts due to sliding lira, Diken said.

The BDDK gave the football clubs one month time to prepare their balance sheets in order to plan the debt restructuring.

A specific debt restructuring plan will be designed for each football club and the repayment of their debts can be extended up to five years, Diken said.

While the BDDK will take over the debts of the football clubs during that period, the Football Federation will be responsible for administrative and financial oversight of the restructuring plans.

The total debts of the Turkish football clubs have reportedly reached 14 billion lira ($2.6 billion), while Turkey’s Super Lig generates an annual income of 3.5 billion lira ($0.6 billion), Tugrul Aksar told Turkish news site T24 on Thursday. The shares football clubs receive from revenue generated by the league and their total assets which are worth almost 5.5 billion lira ($1.03 billion) are not sufficient to cover the total debt accumulated, Aksar said.

The Turkish currency had a tumultuous year in 2018 with losing almost one-third of its value against the dollar. The lira hit a record low of 7.22 per dollar in August before recovering as the central bank hiked interest rates by 625 basis points to 24 percent in September.

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