Veteran Turkish coach Denizli signs contract with Persepolis

Veteran Turkish coach Denizli signs contract with Persepolis

Veteran Turkish coach Denizli signs contract with Persepolis

New Persepolis coach Denizli (L) shakes hands with club head Rouyanian. AA photo

Veteran Turkish football coach Mustafa Denizli has returned to Tehran’s Persepolis by signing a contract for one and half years.

It will be the second time at Persepolis for Denizli, the only coach to win the Turkish league title with Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe, following his spell at the Tehran club in the 2006 to 2007 season.

“I am so glad to be here because it’s so important to me that the Persepolis fans love me. I love Iranian people, especially Persepolis fans, and that’s why I am here. Persepolis has not done well in the first half of the season, and we will have to change our way,” Denizli said Saturday during a press conference in Tehran.

Negotiations between Denizli and Persepolis management were ongoing the past two months. Persepolis had initially entered talks with Bayer Leverkusen coach Klaus Toppmöller, Swede Sven-Göran Eriksson, Italian Roberto Donadoni and 56-year-old Croat Luka Bonacic to become the new coach of Tehran-based football team. They all turned down the offer.

Club Chairman Mohammed Rouyanian reported that 72 percent of Persepolis supporters wanted to see Denizli as the head of the team.

Denizli said no one appreciated Perspolis’ performance in the first half of the year. He said his first aim was to change this failure.

“I believe this team can succeed more. I am so happy to be here with these people. My economic condition in Turkey was higher, but Persepolis supporters’ wishes for me were more important. I am offered the same money as I was taking from my TV program in Turkey,” Denizli said.

This is not going to be Denizli’s first time in Iran. Denizli was in charge of PAS in 2004 for one and half years. Later in the season of 2006 to 2007 Denizli was the coach of Persepolis.

Persepolis, which is one of the biggest football clubs of Iran, struggled in the first half of the season and finished ninth in the standings.

Compiled from Doğan news agency and Anatolia news agency reports by the Daily News staff.