Over the last two years, Turkish football clubs have made more in signings than they have spent, according to a data analysis by Anadolu Agency (AA). Data from the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) shows that Turkish clubs earned more than $71 million in profit from signings between January 2016 and February 2018. Clubs in Turkey are trying to adapt themselves to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, to avoid sanctions or being banned from European club competitions, namely the top-tier Champions League, or the second-tier Europa League.
In the biggest moves over the two-year period, Beşiktaş striker Cenk Tosun moved to English Premier League club Everton this January, Medipol Başakşehir winger Cengiz Ünder was signed by Italy’s Roma last summer, and Fenerbahçe’s Danish central defender Simon Kjaer made his way to Spain’s Sevilla last August.
Data shows that Turkish clubs earned a $23 million profit in player transfers in 2016, followed by $16 million in 2017. The clubs also reaped a $32 million profit in this year’s winter transfer window in January and February.
From 2008 to 2015, in contrast, Turkish clubs paid out more for transfers than they paid, to the tune of $425 million, especially in 2013, which saw a $96 million gap.
Under its Financial Fair Play regulations, UEFA monitors clubs to make sure they are not spending more money than they earn, a measure created to help teams avoid financial problems in the long-term. If a club is found to have violated fair play rules, it faces a range of penalties from a warning to disqualification from European competitions. The rules were introduced in 2011 to ensure clubs do not face financial problems from spending more than they earn in a bid to achieve success.
Galatasaray, one of Turkey’s leading clubs, already missed European competitions during the 2016-17 season for violating the rules. UEFA imposed a one-year ban on Galatasaray for not complying with its Financial Fair Play terms, as it failed to comply with the break-even requirement during the monitoring period in the 2015-16 season.
On Tuesday, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin explained proposed Financial Fair Play changes and says “I hope there’s no problem” with Galatasaray. “First of all I want to say that the committees studying the situation and talking to the clubs are completely independent,” Ceferin stressed. “For me it’s complicated to enter this discussion, I can’t comment but I hope there’s no problem.
“We can’t put all European teams on the same level, we’re trying to reduce the distance. We must work hand in hand with the clubs, the Federations, and the leagues.
“Clubs need to understand that the rules are the same for everyone. The problem is finding a balance for the big teams and the small teams. We’re discussing a new Financial Fair Play. The first thing could be to limit the number of players per club, prohibit loans and introduce a new luxury tax.