Turkish Football News

Karabukspor president: There is organized crime here

Karabukspor president: There is organized crime here

The third-tier Turkish football club’s president has lashed out at club and city officials by claiming an organized crime group has ruined the club’s finances.

Less than two season ago, Karabukspor, a small team with big ambitions roughly four hours from Istanbul, were regular contestants in the Turkish Super Lig.

A few seasons prior, they even competed in the qualifying stages of the Europa League. However, things are very different for them now.

After being relegated from the Turkish top flight in 2018, the club have spiraled into the abyss, going all the way down to the 2.Lig, Turkey’s third tier in the football pyramid.

Plagued by years of financial mismanagement which lead to terrible performances on the field, Karabukspor are now at the bottom of the table in the 2.Lig with just one point to their name after 17 games. Their goal ratio is an appalling 6 goals scored to 44 conceded — the worst in the league.

With relegation to the fourth tier all but guaranteed come the end of the current season, Karabukspor president Mehmet Yuksel held a press conference at the club’s facilities in Karabuk on Wednesday, January 1, to plea for help in order to save the club from disappearing even further down the football pyramid.

Yuksel spoke frankly during the press conference and made startling revelations about the club including their current debt200 million Turkish Lira.

Karabukspor president Mehmet Yuksel during a press conference on January 1, 2020.

“The city needs to unite, to do something. The governor, the deputies, the mayor, whoever, have to do their part. Karabukspor is getting worse. We’re in trouble. The mid-season transfer period begins. If there is an opportunity, we need to make considerations. Whoever wants to come to the management and whoever is currently not wanted by the management, we are ready to leave.Do they want us to the matter to Congress? What do they want us to do? Our elders should tell us and we will act accordingly,” he said while holding his composure.

He also claims the club is in the current predicament it finds itself in due to organized crime.

“If the prosecutor calls, we are ready to tell him. There is an organized crime here. Unless the organized crime is not solved, the issues will not be solved,” he said.

To make matters worse, the club’s president revealed players have gone unpaid for several months. He also said players have had to borrow money from their families and bring food to the club as the club cannot afford to pay its cooks.

It’s an unfortunate story of how things have unfolded at Karabukspor, however, it is an example of the current financial crunch almost all clubs in Turkey are facing due to years of reckless spending and mismanagement.

What does the future hold for Karabukspor? Will they be able to turn things around and avoid relegation to the fourth tier of Turkish football? Only time will tell.