Turkish Super Lig clubs get debts restructured by the state

Turkish Super Lig clubs get debts restructured by the state
Soccer club’s cumulative debts are said to be worth more than US$1.8bn.

Clubs in the Super Lig, Turkish soccer’s top flight, are to have their debts restructured by the nation’s banking association after mounting cumulative figures reached more than ten million lira (US$1.8 billion).

Turkey’s traditional soccer giants, including Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas, have all seen their debts escalate amid their attempts to remain among European soccer’s elite.

However, while the debts of the 18 clubs are set to be restructured, they will not be written off. While claims from Turkish media sources suggested that state-owned bank Ziraat Bank would take control of the restructuring, the Turkish Banking Association (TBB) has denied that a single financial service could manage the whole process. Rather, TBB suggested that every bank involved would continue to look after its own clients.

TBB told Reuters: “It is out the question for the debts to be erased or for there to be pricing that is out of market pricing standards in the restructuring.”

Turkey's Football Federation (TFF) Chairman Yıldırım Demirören, TBB chairman Hüseyin Aydın and Chairmen from the Super Lig’s outfits reportedly met on Monday to discuss the restructuring.

As part of the meeting, state broadcaster TRT reported that clubs have been asked to reveal their financial reports in order to provide clarification ahead of plans for the restructuring of the debts.

Fenerbahce, the most successful team in Turkish soccer history with 28 league titles, have debts of almost four billion lira (UK£573 million), while arch rivals Galatasaray have outstanding debts of 2.97 billion lira (UK£425.8 million).

İstanbul Başakşehir currently sit at the top of the Super Lig, with the club founded in 1990 seeking its first ever top-tier title. Among others, their squad features former Premier League stars Gael Clichy, Emanuel Adebayor and Emre Belozoglu.

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