Beşiktaş club loses on pitch, wins on bourse
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsDespite a crucial loss against rival Galatasaray on the evening of Feb. 26, Beşiktaş, the Istanbul-based Turkish football team, gained big on the stock market after former president Yıldırım Demirören’s announcement to write off the 103 million Turkish Liras ($58 million) he was owed by the club.
The club’s shares on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (İMKB) climbed nearly 7 percent yesterday, the first trading day after Demirören’s decision for a conditional donation.
Besiktas Futbol Yatırımları, the marketing arm of the club, was trading at 7.76 liras per share in the morning, which marked a little more than 10 percent rise. However, the shares dropped slightly to 7.46 liras later in the day.
Demirören, who had been heading the club for the past eight years, resigned from his post over the weekend, ahead of his election as head of the Turkish Football Federation yesterday.
Demirören said he would write off the whole debt the club owed him on condition his successors “guarantee to act the same way.”
Still, the move in Beşiktaş shares could be somewhat speculative, according to Tuğrul Akşar, a sports economist who underlined the clubs’ 270 million liras of debt stock according to the official filing on the bourse, which far exceeds Demirören’s planned donation.
“The bourse activity of any firm with such an equity capital shortage would be frozen,” Akşar told the Daily News during a phone interview yesterday. “But when it comes to football clubs, things differ.”
There are no legal obstacles to Demirören’s writeoff, Akşar added. “Beşiktaş has to solve its debt problem by the beginning of the 2014-2015 season, in order to obey the new financial fair play regulations of UEFA [Union of European Football Associations]. This is the solution that Demirören and the club have come up with.”
The UEFA rule obliges clubs to pay back their debts to club executives, owners or funds, before the given time.
Galatasaray, which won the Feb. 26 match 3-2 at the Türk Telekom Arena, also gained 5.5 percent on the İMKB during yesterday’s trading.