Turkish clubs to have cardboard fans in stands
Clubs are seeking alternative ways to generate income from selling seats for cardboard cutouts in the stands to selling protective face masks, as the Turkish Süper Lig is set to resume on June 12 behind closed doors.
Three major Istanbul clubs, Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, have launched campaigns for their supporters to have their photos on cardboards in seats.
Beşiktaş has launched a campaign titled “Our Spirit is Enough.”
“As you all know, due to COVID-19, the Super League matches will be played behind closed doors without spectators,” the club said in a statement on its website.
“However, to avoid games in an ‘empty’ Vodafone Park, we will put cardboard cutouts of our supporters in the stands. Therefore, send your photo and 129 Turkish Liras [$19] for your own cardboard cutout to support Beşiktaş during home games.”
Beşiktaş said it will implement the fan project for matches against Antalyaspor, Konyaspor, Kasımpaşa and Fenerbahçe.
Galatasaray also launched a similar campaign, with a price of 123 liras ($18) for season ticket holders and 149 liras ($22) for other fans.
“As part of the campaign, which is expected to draw great interest from tens of thousands of fans from across Turkey and abroad, our fans can also have their cardboard cutouts put next to their family members and loved ones,” Galatasaray said in a statements.
Fenerbahçe fans, meanwhile, will pay 99 liras ($14.5) to have their cardboard cutouts be placed in the club’s stadium.
“Do not leave your Fenerbahçe alone in these days the stands are silent,” the Istanbul club said in a statement addressing its supporters.
“Join us now to say, ‘We’ve loved you more than anything’ louder,” Fenerbahçe said, adding that the cardboard cutouts will be in the stands in its five home league games and the Ziraat Cup semifinal match against Trabzonspor on June 16.
Defending champion Galatasaray, meanwhile, expanded its line of club brands products, adding protective face masks to its inventory.
“Masks will be available on [the club’s] online store ‘http://gsstore.org’ on [June 1], while they will be in all of our shops on Wednesday,” the official store of Galatasaray, GSStore, said on Twitter on May 29.
The team did not disclose a price for the new product.
The coronavirus pandemic forced Turkey to suspend nationwide competitions in March.
The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) announced May 28 that top-tier Süper Lig games would resume June 12.
The TFF on May 29 released guidelines for the rest of the 2019-2020 season to be applied to matches of the top two football divisions and Turkish Cup.
According to the instructions, the teams will be allowed up to five substitutions per game and an additional substitution will be permissible in extra time in a knockout match.
If the number of eligible players from any team falls below 14 due to the coronavirus, the team’s match will be postponed.
Players and the staff in the bench should leave two seats empty between each other and anyone with temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher will not be allowed to enter stadiums.
Substitute players will have to wear protective masks and no one will be permitted to attend the matches without masks.