This is the time for İzmir

This is the time for İzmir

Was it a huge absence that no football teams from İzmir were playing in the Turkish Super League? Yes, it was a huge deficiency, because sports is currently a major industry and İzmir was not benefiting from this locomotive power. For this reason, at the final game on June 4 evening I was a Göztepe fan. We all were.

Otherwise, as a Karşıyaka fan, which is the rival İzmir team, the fact that I am tied to the green-red colors from the bottom of my heart did not stop me from doing this. Before anything else I am from İzmir and I want this city to be at the place it deserves. 

This year Göztepe advanced; maybe next year it will be Karşıyaka’s turn, or Altay or Altınordu… To be frank, this situation that lasted for years should have come to an end; the situation that no İzmir team played at the top league. 

So thank you Göztepe, thank you Chairman Mehmet Sepil. 

As I wrote a couple of times before, it was impossible for Göztepe to fail because the club’s chairman, Sepil, started from forming the institutional structure. Deputy Chair Talat Papatya and CEO Kerem Ertan are professionals who know the sector very well. This professionalism reflected onto every aspect of the team. Sepil used his international experience and highlighted a mentality, from the beginning, that was lacking in İzmir. 

He focused on stability, experience, fiscal discipline and infrastructure. He made long-term plans, without asking for anything from the municipality and the state; he first used and highlighted their own means and the values of the community.  

Of course there was a factor that made all of these easier for him and that was the Göztepe supporters as well as the yearning of the community for the Super League. When all of them came together, victory arrived.

Was it a sportive success for Göztepe that everybody was satisfied? It was inadequate for many people but who cares? The result is more important, right? 

This victory will motivate other İzmir clubs. This city deserves so much more… I know it is time for İzmir…

Well, at which stadiums are we going to play? 

To be frank, this Göztepe, the one that advanced to the Super League, went all the way to Sakarya, didn’t it? Also, didn’t it take refuge at a Manisa stadium? Another İzmir team, the century-old Karşıkaya settled for Buca’s stadium, didn’t it? 

While modern stadiums are built in every city in Turkey, is there any other stadium but the Atatürk Stadium for Göztepe, now a Super League team, to play in İzmir? In that stadium, we don’t enjoy watching football and neither the players feel at their best.   

İzmir has to have new stadiums. I’m not talking about standard, classic stadiums. They should be football shrines; then the city will truly advance to the super league. 

These are the lessons to be drawn from Göztepe’s victory: A great past and a glorious history are not enough to make a team champions. Unless there is stability in the management, victory does not arrive. Great communities count, but what is more important is the institutional infrastructure. 

There may be dozens of causes for a team’s victory but the most important one is to be a self-sufficient club with a strong financial infrastructure. 

Now, there is a significant and huge opportunity for Göztepe. It is the only representative of İzmir in the Spor Toto Super League. First, the red and yellows totally enjoy this victory, and then make a new move for bigger victories. Maybe they will make important transfers this year to be able to stay in the top league. 

But what I expect from Sepil and Göztepe is for them to launch an infrastructure move that will set an example for İzmir.