Federation to hand over top football league to clubs
This photo from Dec 16, 2012, shows Turkish rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe meet in a match. The structure of the Super League is set to be changed with a new plan, according to reports.Turkish football clubs are set to found a corporation to organize top-flight football, embracing the English Premier League model, daily Hürriyet reported yesterday.
According to the plan, Turkey’s Super League will be administrated the way England’s lucrative top-flight football organization is managed. A corporation would be founded by the Union of Clubs, the entity formed by the chairmen of 18 top-flight teams.
The organization scheme was presented to Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç at a meeting on Dec. 25 by former Galatasaray vice president Mehmet Helvacı.
“The organization of the Super League is held by the Turkish Football Federation and the Union of Clubs has no function,” Helvacı told Hürriyet. “In the new structure, there will be a corporation and all the clubs will be stakeholders of this private company. All the benefits would be distributed to the stakeholders. Teams relegated from the Super League would sell their stakes to the ones who are promoted.”
The plan is inspired by the English Premier League, which became the world’s most lucrative national football competition thanks to its business plan.
In 1992, the clubs in the Football League First Division made the decision to turn the competition into the Premier League to break away from The Football League, which was originally founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. Broadcasting rights of the English Premier League will be worth 3 billion pounds as of 2013-14.
The Turkish Super League hopes “to increase its broadcast rights” with the new plan, the daily reported. In 2010, Digiturk bought the broadcasting rights of the Super League for four years, with a yearly $321 million deal.
The key to the sustainability of this project is “transparency,” according to İbrahim Altınsay, sports pundit and former Beşiktaş board member.
“The Premier League plan could be adapted to Turkish football, and it could be lucrative and entertaining,” Altınsay told CNNTürk television channel. “But that company should be transparent, it should be open to being supervised, and it should be lucrative.”
The plan aims to boost the income in football and help Turkish football clubs, the overwhelming majority of which are struggling under heavy debts.
According to the daily, the federation chairman, Yıldırım Demirören, and the Union of Clubs head, Halil Ünal, asked Kılıç to help the clubs make a clean break and ask for the clearance of the clubs’ tax debts.
Kılıç reportedly rejected the idea. “How can I ask the finance minister that? The clubs’ tax debts were cleared twice.”
The minister then agreed to work in cooperation with the clubs and said the clubs should assure the Finance Ministry that their financial situation would be healthier and would never ask for debt clearances in the future.
In the English Premier League, clubs share 50 percent of the total broadcasting income equally. A quarter is distributed to the clubs based on the number of games shown live on television, and the remaining 25 percent is distributed depending on their seasonal performances in the competition.
Unlike the English Football Association (FA), “the Turkish Football Federation will get 10 percent of the broadcasting rights.”
However, in organizing the game, the federation will continue to oversee the league and the appointment of the referees with its sub-commissions.