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Turkey Football Updates
Süper Lig, the top division of football in Turkey, says that they lost around €263 million ($291 million) back in 2018 due to a depreciation in Turkish lira against Euros and US Dollars. Some former and current Turkish football players and manager have been incarcerated for ties to planning a failed coup back in 2016. A few members of Sivasspor's youth team were injured in a bus crash.
The report, 11th European Club Footballing Landscape, gave detailed information, saying:
‘The relatively high financing costs of Turkish and Italian clubs continue to absorb a sizeable percentage of club revenues, with total net non-operating costs equivalent to 29 percent and 7 percent of revenue respectively. In Turkey this trend is mainly driven by the recent devaluation of the Turkish Lira: foreign exchange losses of €125 million ($138 million) hit Turkish clubs in FY2018 even harder than in FY2017 (€73m)’.
Additionally, the report also stated that Turkey’s top three clubs were among the top 20 clubs in Europe with the highest net debt. Fenerbahçe, with €334 million ($370 million) net debt, ranks 6th, Beşiktaş, with €183 million ($203 million) ranks 15th, and Galatasaray, with €175 million ($194 million) net debt, ranks 17th.
Meanwhile, some football players and a manager, former and current, were sentenced to prison for having participated in the Gülen movement, which is responsible for a failed coup in 2016. Among those sentenced are Bekir İrtegün, Uğur Boral and Ömer Çatkıç, former players for the Turkish national football team. They were given a two-year and three-month-long sentence for being a member of an armed terrorist group.
Zafer Biryol and İsmail Şengül, former football players, and manager Ersin Güreler were given a six-year and three-month-long sentence for the same offence. İrtegün, Boral and Çatkıç all received shorter sentences due to their confessions that were a big help for the Turkish authorities during the investigations.
According to the investigations, those accused were found to be using ByLock, an encrypted application that was used by Gülen movement members, and that they had contact Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the group.
In similar news, six members of the Sivasspor U-14-U-15 were injured after their bus went off-road due to heavy snow. The accident took place in the central Turkish province of Sivas. According to a statement released by the team, the accident happened while they were travelling from Turkey's southern Hatay province to Sivas following a match against Hatayspor.
Those injured were brought to nearby hospitals in Sivas for immediate treatment, where four of the six injured were later discharged with only minor bruises and scratches. The Turkish Football Federation wished the players to get well soon via their website. Some Turkish Football clubs such as Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, and Besiktas also shared the same sentiments
Words: Carlos Corpus