Star point guard Carlos Arroyo, Galatasaray part ways
In a message on March 2, Arroyo (L) thanked and bid farewell to the fans. AFP PhotoFinancial problems have taken another toll on Galatasaray Liv Hospital, with the team’s star point guard announcing his departure due to a dispute over his payments.
Puerto Rican star Carlos Arroyo reportedly asked the club to pay $550,000 in unpaid wages, saying he would leave if they did not, but the club said it “will not bow to blackmail.”
In a message on March 2, Arroyo thanked and bid farewell to the fans.
“I am deeply saddened to inform the press and the great fans here in Istanbul of my decision to conclude my time with Galatasaray,” the player said in his message.
“My decision to leave the team came only after long and careful consideration. It is with regret, yet firm conviction, that under the team’s current unstable financial situation, I can no longer be a part of the Galatasaray team,” he added.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the faithful fans of Galatasaray for the love and respect they have shown me over the last three years. You will always have a place in my heart,” he said.
Arroyo had been Galatasaray’s leading scorer and team captain since he signed with the club in January 2013. He is a Puerto Rican national and had played eight seasons in the NBA before joining Beşiktaş and then Galatasaray.
Galatasaray also announced yesterday that the contract with Aleks Maric, which expired on March 1, was not extended and the player had left the club.
Struggling under financial problems, nine players have left Galatasaray Liv Hospital since the beginning of the season, leaving the club with 10 players eligible to play in the Turkish Basketball League (TBF) and 11 in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague following a five-game losing streak. The Istanbul club hosts group leader Real Madrid in its next game on March 6.
Galatasaray is currently in sixth spot in the TBF and seventh spot in Group E of the Euroleague.
Galatasaray board member Ural Aküzüm told the club’s official television channel that Arroyo had been paid all wages he had deserved.
“Arroyo has been paid $4.5 million so far, but according to report by our coach Ergin Ataman, he acted in a way to disturb the peace in the squad,” Aküzüm told GS TV.
“We cannot accept threats and blackmail to leave. Galatasaray will continue its honorable struggle with the players believing in the club and its great supporters,” he added.