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TURKEY > Aybaba: Beşiktaş is not downsizing

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Despite its major financial problems and a debt of about 581 million Turkish liras, Beşiktaş is not downsizing according to Samet Aybaba, who speaks at the ceremony where he signs a four-year contract as the team’s new coach

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New Beşiktaş coach Samet Aybaba speaks alongside chairman Fikret Orman after signing a four-year contract. Aybaba will team up with former Beşiktaş teammates Ulvi Güveneroğlu (bottom left) and Recep Çetin in the team’s technical staff. AA photos

New Beşiktaş coach Samet Aybaba speaks alongside chairman Fikret Orman after signing a four-year contract. Aybaba will team up with former Beşiktaş teammates Ulvi Güveneroğlu (bottom left) and Recep Çetin in the team’s technical staff. AA photos

Samet Aybaba said Beşiktaş “will not be downsizing” at a press conference where he was unveiled as the club’s new head coach yesterday.

Aybaba, who was named the new Beşiktaş coach last week, signed a four-year contract and gave his first press conference as Beşiktaş’ coach yesterday.

Beşiktaş is in a dire financial situation with a debt of 581 million Turkish Liras. The Istanbul club has introduced an austerity regime, including offloading the wage bill through sending some star players and cutting the transfer budget.

The club was also excluded from the Europa League competition last month following a UEFA ban on financial irregularities.

However, Aybaba said that the club was not downsizing, but was planning a different approach to tackling its problems.

“Beşiktaş is a big team and will get over this situation,” Aybaba said. “We will do anything to recreate a disappearing legend.”

“This will be a team –regardless of the financial impossibilities - that keeps fighting on the pitch and doing what they can,” Aybaba said. “That is not downsizing, that is planning the future.”

Chairman Fikret Orman explained how the new route for Beşiktaş will be.

“Beşiktaş will take the necessary steps suitable to its budget,” Orman said. “Beşiktaş will not be indebted anymore.”

Orman replaced Yıldırım Demirören as the Beşiktaş chairman earlier this year after the latter left the spot to run for the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) presidency.

Demirören spent more than 100 million Turkish liras for transfer during his eight-year period, and left the club indebted to himself.

Changing ways

Demirören’s star signings include former Real Madrid attacker Guti, along with Portuguese players Simao Sabrosa, Ricardo Quaresma, Manuel Fernandes and Hugo Almeida, with the last four players still being a part of the Beşiktaş squad.

Beşiktaş has also worked with high-profile coaches like Bernd Schuster, Vicente Del Bosque and Jean Tigana during Demirören’s period, but that extravagant spending returned just one league title for the club.

“If star signings would guarantee, Beşiktaş would have won the titles in the last eight years,” said Orman in reference to the title drought, while implying that some of the Portuguese stars could be sent from the club in order to offload the wage budget.

Beşiktaş has also asked some of its players to take a cut in their fees. Defender Ersan Gülüm agreed a pay cut, while Egemen Korkmaz stood by his current salary and won the negotiations.

June/26/2012

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