Turkish Football News

Turkish clubs transfer policies a sign of neglect

Turkish clubs transfer policies a sign of neglect

Galatasaray have no one to blame but themselves as they get desperate in their search for a striker this month.

The careless spending of Turkish clubs, in particular by Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas, has caught up with them. In the face of what seems like insurmountable debt, the clubs are forced to make drastic decisions such as letting go promising young talent for cheap while overspending on aging players who are on their last legs.

To put things in perspective, let’s look at how Galatasaray have fared this season with regards to transfers.

Drug addicts know that drugs are harmful but they keep buying anyway – just like Turkish clubs with transfers. Financially bankrupt, Turkish teams are trying to make extraordinary transfers at the cost of their club’s future. For instance, Galatasaray, who had to sell their most promising talent in recent years, 18-year-old Ozan Kabak, due to financial constraints, are still desperately looking for a striker who is unlikely to add much to the team let alone solve their goalscoring issues.

The situation is more like a tragicomedy, with Galatasaray executives not being able to reach a deal as several weeks have passed by since the January transfer window opened. Cim Bom fans stay up late on Twitter and don’t fall asleep until 4 a.m. just so that they can find out about any transfer news their favourite club may or may not announce.

But the most tragic part of the story is that Galatasaray has been trying to sign Alan Carvalho from Guangzhou Evergrande, a player who has been playing in the Chinese league for the last four years and is already 29 years old. If that does not convince you that Turkish clubs are transfer addicts, just listen to this: Galatasaray offered a 3.5-year, €4.5 million contract in addition to a €3.5 million transfer fee for Carvalho. That would mean the club would have to pay a total of €19.25 million if the player signs and sees out the entire deal to the end.

This is just insane. In an era where Turkish clubs are finally paying the price for their reckless spending, this kind of transfer does not make any sense. Things could be very different for them if they planned ahead. Why did Galatasaray sell their proven striker Bafetimbi Gomis before the season started? He is 33 years old but he wanted the same amount of money as Alan, plus, he scored 32 goals for Galatasaray last season and helped the team win their 21st title.

Galatasaray justified his departure citing their deteriorating finances and even though fans were frustrated, they acknowledged that it was a good decision for their team’s financial future. So, the question is what exactly happened to Galatasaray in the last six months that they now want to pay almost 20 million euros for a striker in the final phase of his career?

The truth is terrifying since it shows the boundless greed and selfishness of Turkish football executives. With the government’s new debt restructuring programs, Turkish clubs finally found a way to come out of their bankruptcy but they are required to plan their budget for the long run. However, because no individual has yet been held responsible for their actions and the debt is left for the succeeding administrations, club officials are still trying to save their image by making more and more transfers – pushing the limits of their budget.

Galatasaray executives and coach Fatih Terim know they need to make transfers to compete in the Super Lig because that is what they are used to. Because they did not create a long-term project with Turkish youth, they are now dependent on expired goods hoping to score a lucrative contract with Galatasaray. By making such terribly thought-out transfers, they sacrifice the future of Galatasaray. Until we hold individuals accountable, the same old issues will continue to plague Turkish football.

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