Relegate Turkey’s big four, deputy says

A former national footballer and present parliamentarian for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) told parliament that Turkey’s biggest four football clubs ought to be relegated to the 2nd division (3rd tier of Turkish football) under financial fair play rules, Russian-owned news website Sputnik said.

“Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Trabzonspor have a total debt of almost 7 billion ($1.8 billion) and they are still able to compete in the Super League,” Saffet Sancaklı said.

“According to club licence rules, with this financial picture the big four should be in the 2nd division, not the Super League. Financial fair play requires this.”

The clubs were being allowed to get away with it because they were too big to fail, Sancaklı said.

At a recent meeting with sports reporters, Turkey’s Youth and Sports Minister Osman Aşkın Bak highlighted another aspect of the game he felt was moving in the wrong direction.

“My heart bled when Galatasaray went out onto the pitch with 11 foreign players last week,” he said.

“We need to revise our youth setup very quickly. When Galatasaray won the UEFA cup, they only had three or four foreign players.”