Football flops linked to economy: analyst
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜRELTurkey’s declining success in football stems from problems in overall economic performance, according economist Mert Yıldız of Renaissance Capital.
In a research note released yesterday, Yıldız drew parallels between Turkey’s gaping current account deficit and the need for Turkish football clubs to bring in foreign stars on transfers.
“Except for the past two years, three teams [Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş] have won the Turkish championship back-to-back for three decades. These teams import almost all their best players from abroad, and export one or two good players every year. They have little revenue from exporting players, but incur serious expenses for importing players,” Yıldız said.”
“Players such as Guti and Roberto Carlos have come to Turkey at the end of their careers to make some money before retirement,” Yıldız said. “Unlike in their youth, they have little drive to succeed.”
Due to the “high domestic demand” they enjoy at home, Turkish football clubs feel no need to become successful abroad, similar to local companies that have become “complacent and uncompetitive” in the global market, according to Yıldız, who sees hope in the smaller teams from Anatolia. The analyst said Bursaspor, which won the championship in 2010, is based in “an industrial city that runs a trade surplus.”
Trabzonspor, another team that seeks success, is also based in a city with a large trade surplus, Yıldız said. On the other hand, Istanbul, home to three top teams, is responsible for 60 percent of Turkey’s total trade deficit.
“Without an increase in competitiveness, Turkey is trapped with manic depressive success, both in terms of the economy and on the pitch,” Yıldız said. “[Economic] growth could reach 8 percent this year, but if and when global liquidity dries up, it will eventually decline – just as the Turkish national team can manage to be third in the world one year and fail to qualify for the World Cup the next.”