Fenerbahce have raised a record 55.9 million Turkish Lira (approximately €8.2 million) in just two days thanks to their fund-raising campaign called “WinWin.”
The Turkish football club ran a two-day donation campaign and televised the event on Turkish television channel TV8 where current first-team players, Turkish celebrities and former players attended in a collective effort to raise badly-needed funds as the club is struggling financially.
During the special broadcast, which aired two evenings in a row, fans of the club sent a total of 950,000 SMS messages each costing 20 TL to support the financially-strapped club.
Over 123,000 special-edition club jerseys were sold, each worth 300 TL.
Former players such as Tuncay Sanli and Mehmet Aurellio appeared as on-air phone guests in order to drum up interest from fans.
Participants who took part in the campaign either by buying jerseys or sending SMS donations will also be included in a prize lottery with prizes such as houses, cars, jerseys, season or single-match tickets in addition to the chance to join a number of events with the club administration, players, former players and other celebrities.
Fenerbahce, like almost all Super Lig clubs, are heavily in debt; the latest figure is reported to be 4.25 billion TL (approximately €627 million).
The Istanbul club need to raise €60 million by the end of May in order to avoid Financial Fair Play (FFP) sanctions by UEFA. The figure stems from the three-year agreement Fenerbahce signed with UEFA requiring the club to have a total debt of no more than €30 million over the three-year period.
According to Fenerbahce president Ali Koc, however, the club are short of meeting that goal by €90 million and face harsh penalties including a transfer ban and suspension from European competitions.