The transfer of Mesut Özil is not only a transfer in itself

Author : chadtmp
Publish Date : 2021-02-23


The transfer of Mesut Özil is not only a transfer in itself

“Our fans, our youth, our elders, our congress members. You said a lot, now is the time to act,” he told a meeting of the club’s leadership days before the deal, adding, “Let’s see how those who want this transfer are behind your words.”

Supporters have been donating cash to the team via SMS text message through a variety of official campaigns since 2019, but this latest one was different, this was in aid of signing a global superstar.

Texting “Mesut Ol” to 1907 donated around $3 to the Istanbul giants, and ahead of Özil’s anticipated signing that week, Koç urged everyone to play their part.     

“I ask young children who do not have a phone to put pressure on their fathers and mothers to send an SMS,” he said.

“Let's break a record. We will start from now, until the signature day.”

Mesut Özil’s desire to play for Fenerbahçe has been common knowledge in Turkey for years; the question was always whether the Süper Lig club could afford him.

At $330 million it has the highest debts in the country, yet as Özil fell out of favor with Arsenal last year the clamor amongst Fenerbahçe supporters to sign the German playmaker became overwhelming.

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The deal is a surprise in as much as Koç consistently played down Özil transfer talk.

As recently as December 2020, Turkish media quoted him saying the Özil signing was “a beautiful dream,” but that the “economic conditions are not suitable.”

Since taking over the Istanbul team in 2018 Koç has preached a message of financial prudence.

He shifted the strategy from spending big on established stars past their peak to an emphasis on smaller investments in youthful talent with sell-on potential.   

The Fenerbahçe president has been proactive in sorting the club financially; restructuring its debts, cutting costs and reducing losses.

But Koç is under no illusions about the work that remains to sort the books.

In the same meeting in which he called on fans to support the SMS campaign, he described this challenge with a ship-based metaphor.

“We are not bringing in new cargo and somehow trying to get the ship towards the port. But we still have a long way to go,” he said.

All of this raises the question: How does the signing of Özil fit with this strategy?

Fenerbahçe’s deal ‘defies logic’

“I cannot [understand the] logic of Mesut Özil's coming to Fenerbahçe,” says leading Turkish soccer economist Tugrul Aksar.

“It must be an extraordinary management skill for the club to find funds for the transfer of Mesut Özil while restructuring its bank debts [amid a] severe financial shortage.”

Aksar has run the numbers and says he cannot make sense of the deal. He is convinced that even if Özil manages to help Fenerbahçe qualify for the Champions League and attracts fresh interest in the team, it will not be enough to cover the cost.

“Fenerbahçe will pay $11.51 million to Mesut Özil for three years”, he continues.

“Even if Fenerbahçe [qualifies for the] Champions League, it will have a hard time against this cost. Fenerbahçe's total debt is around $605.9 million.

“Its total income is around $115.12 million. It does not seem possible to cover the cost of this transfer with jersey sales.”

I spoke to Aksar in the summer of 2020 about the financial situation faced by Turkey’s biggest clubs and his assessment of the unique conditions they operated under was stark.

If they played in a different country, he said, “they would probably go bankrupt and be relegated.”

Fenerbahçe has already faced sanctions from European governing body UEFA over breaches to the Financial Fair Play regulations-the rules set up to limit the level of debt clubs can incur.

Aksar thinks the Özil deal could present problems for the Turkish side should it qualify for European competition.

How Fenerbahçe fans feel

Özil was released from his contract without a transfer fee being paid to Arsenal, which means the main expense for Fenerbahçe is his $3.75 million yearly wages.

Considering this is around 170 times the average salary in Turkey, you might think there would be some resentment amongst the fanbase about being asked to subsidize his wages.

Özil is not exactly short of cash, his last contract at Arsenal earned him over $70 million.

But dissenting voices amongst the Fenerbahçe fanatics are few. If anything, it is the opposite.

On Twitter, supporters complained there was a 6-text donation limit, whilst others suggested they would go without food or cigarettes to make the deal happen.

Ergun Bulbul, a fan who has donated to the club on several occasions, is unconcerned about fans being asked to fund the deal.

“The debt situation, of course, worries us as well as any team fan, but we have a large community and a financially well-informed president and administrative staff, we believe it will be overcome.

“The Mesut Özil transfer means not only hiring a star football player but also adding a valuable brand. 

“The fans did their best [with] SMS and other financial support. As success comes, debts will naturally decrease.” 

Another fan who donated, Burak Saglam, believes the deal goes beyond Fenerbahçe and makes a bigger statement.

“The transfer of Mesut Özil is not only a transfer in itself, it does a great job promoting the country's [soccer],” he says.

I did find one supporter who had concerns about the way the cash was raised. But they declined to speak to me for the story.

“Our fans, our youth, our elders, our congress members. You said a lot, now is the time to act,” he told a meeting of the club’s leadership days before the deal, adding, “Let’s see how those who want this transfer are behind your words.”

Supporters have been donating cash to the team via SMS text message through a variety of official campaigns since 2019, but this latest one was different, this was in aid of signing a global superstar.

Texting “Mesut Ol” to 1907 donated around $3 to the Istanbul giants, and ahead of Özil’s anticipated signing that week, Koç urged everyone to play their part.     

“I ask young children who do not have a phone to put pressure on their fathers and mothers to send an SMS,” he said.

“Let's break a record. We will start from now, until the signature day.”

Mesut Özil’s desire to play for Fenerbahçe has been common knowledge in Turkey for years; the question was always whether the Süper Lig club could afford him.

At $330 million it has the highest debts in the country, yet as Özil fell out of favor with Arsenal last year the clamor amongst Fenerbahçe supporters to sign the German playmaker became overwhelming.

MORE FOR YOU
Why Huawei’s New Update Is Seriously Bad News For Android Users
WhatsApp Users Suddenly Get This Surprise New Boost From Facebook
Huawei’s Striking New Billion-Dollar Gamble Targets Apple, Google (And Tesla)
The deal is a surprise in as much as Koç consistently played down Özil transfer talk.

As recently as December 2020, Turkish media quoted him saying the Özil signing was “a beautiful dream,” but that the “economic conditions are not suitable.”

Since taking over the Istanbul team in 2018 Koç has preached a message of financial prudence.

He shifted the strategy from spending big on established stars past their peak to an emphasis on smaller investments in youthful talent with sell-on potential.   

The Fenerbahçe president has been proactive in sorting the club financially; restructuring its debts, cutting costs and reducing losses.

But Koç is under no illusions about the work that remains to sort the books.

In the same meeting in which he called on fans to support the SMS campaign, he described this challenge with a ship-based metaphor.

“We are not bringing in new cargo and somehow trying to get the ship towards the port. But we still have a long way to go,” he said.

All of this raises the question: How does the signing of Özil fit with this strategy?

Fenerbahçe’s deal ‘defies logic’

“I cannot [understand the] logic of Mesut Özil's coming to Fenerbahçe,” says leading Turkish soccer economist Tugrul Aksar.

“It must be an extraordinary management skill for the club to find funds for the transfer of Mesut Özil while restructuring its bank debts [amid a] severe financial shortage.”

Aksar has run the numbers and says he cannot make sense of the deal. He is convinced that even if Özil manages to help Fenerbahçe qualify for the Champions League and attracts fresh interest in the team, it will not be enough to cover the cost.

“Fenerbahçe will pay $11.51 million to Mesut Özil for three years”, he continues.

“Even if Fenerbahçe [qualifies for the] Champions League, it will have a hard time against this cost. Fenerbahçe's total debt is around $605.9 million.

“Its total income is around $115.12 million. It does not seem possible to cover the cost of this transfer with jersey sales.”

I spoke to Aksar in the summer of 2020 about the financial situation faced by Turkey’s biggest clubs and his assessment of the unique conditions they operated under was stark.

If they played in a different country, he said, “they would probably go bankrupt and be relegated.”

Fenerbahçe has already faced sanctions from European governing body UEFA over breaches to the Financial Fair Play regulations-the rules set up to limit the level of debt clubs can incur.

Aksar thinks the Özil deal could present problems for the Turkish side should it qualify for European competition.

How Fenerbahçe fans feel

Özil was released from his contract without a transfer fee being paid to Arsenal, which means the main expense for Fenerbahçe is his $3.75 million yearly wages.

Considering this is around 170 times the average salary in Turkey, you might think there would be some resentment amongst the fanbase about being asked to subsidize his wages.

Özil is not exactly short of cash, his last contract at Arsenal earned him over $70 million.

But dissenting voices amongst the Fenerbahçe fanatics are few. If anything, it is the opposite.

On Twitter, supporters complained there was a 6-text donation limit, whilst others suggested they would go without food or cigarettes to make the deal happen.

Ergun Bulbul, a fan who has donated to the club on several occasions, is unconcerned about fans being asked to fund the deal.

“The debt situation, of course, worries us as well as any team fan, but we have a large community and a financially well-informed president and administrative staff, we believe it will be overcome.

“The Mesut Özil transfer means not only hiring a star football player but also adding a valuable brand. 

“The fans did their best [with] SMS and other financial support. As success comes, debts will naturally decrease.” 

Another fan who donated, Burak Saglam, believes the deal goes beyond Fenerbahçe and makes a bigger statement.

“The transfer of Mesut Özil is not only a transfer in itself, it does a great job promoting the country's [soccer],” he says.

I did find one supporter who had concerns about the way the cash was raised. But they declined to speak to me for the story.

“Our fans, our youth, our elders, our congress members. You said a lot, now is the time to act,” he told a meeting of the club’s leadership days before the deal, adding, “Let’s see how those who want this transfer are behind your words.”

Supporters have been donating cash to the team via SMS text message through a variety of official campaigns since 2019, but this latest one was different, this was in aid of signing a global superstar.

Texting “Mesut Ol” to 1907 donated around $3 to the Istanbul giants, and ahead of Özil’s anticipated signing that week, Koç urged everyone to play their part.     

“I ask young children who do not have a phone to put pressure on their fathers and mothers to send an SMS,” he said.

“Let's break a record. We will start from now, until the signature day.”

Mesut Özil’s desire to play for Fenerbahçe has been common knowledge in Turkey for years; the question was always whether the Süper Lig club could afford him.

At $330 million it has the highest debts in the country, yet as Özil fell out of favor with Arsenal last year the clamor amongst Fenerbahçe supporters to sign the German playmaker became overwhelming.

MORE FOR YOU
Why Huawei’s New Update Is Seriously Bad News For Android Users
WhatsApp Users Suddenly Get This Surprise New Boost From Facebook
Huawei’s Striking New Billion-Dollar Gamble Targets Apple, Google (And Tesla)
The deal is a surprise in as much as Koç consistently played down Özil transfer talk.

As recently as December 2020, Turkish media quoted him saying the Özil signing was “a beautiful dream,” but that the “economic conditions are not suitable.”

Since taking over the Istanbul team in 2018 Koç has preached a message of financial prudence.

He shifted the strategy from spending big on established stars past their peak to an emphasis on smaller investments in youthful talent with sell-on potential.   

The Fenerbahçe president has been proactive in sorting the club financially; restructuring its debts, cutting costs and reducing losses.

But Koç is under no illusions about the work that remains to sort the books.

In the same meeting in which he called on fans to support the SMS campaign, he described this challenge with a ship-based metaphor.

“We are not bringing in new cargo and somehow trying to get the ship towards the port. But we still have a long way to go,” he said.

All of this raises the question: How does the signing of Özil fit with this strategy?

Fenerbahçe’s deal ‘defies logic’

“I cannot [understand the] logic of Mesut Özil's coming to Fenerbahçe,” says leading Turkish soccer economist Tugrul Aksar.

“It must be an extraordinary management skill for the club to find funds for the transfer of Mesut Özil while restructuring its bank debts [amid a] severe financial shortage.”

Aksar has run the numbers and says he cannot make sense of the deal. He is convinced that even if Özil manages to help Fenerbahçe qualify for the Champions League and attracts fresh interest in the team, it will not be enough to cover the cost.

“Fenerbahçe will pay $11.51 million to Mesut Özil for three years”, he continues.

“Even if Fenerbahçe [qualifies for the] Champions League, it will have a hard time against this cost. Fenerbahçe's total debt is around $605.9 million.

“Its total income is around $115.12 million. It does not seem possible to cover the cost of this transfer with jersey sales.”

I spoke to Aksar in the summer of 2020 about the financial situation faced by Turkey’s biggest clubs and his assessment of the unique conditions they operated under was stark.

If they played in a different country, he said, “they would probably go bankrupt and be relegated.”

Fenerbahçe has already faced sanctions from European governing body UEFA over breaches to the Financial Fair Play regulations-the rules set up to limit the level of debt clubs can incur.

Aksar thinks the Özil deal could present problems for the Turkish side should it qualify for European competition.

How Fenerbahçe fans feel

Özil was released from his contract without a transfer fee being paid to Arsenal, which means the main expense for Fenerbahçe is his $3.75 million yearly wages.

Considering this is around 170 times the average salary in Turkey, you might think there would be some resentment amongst the fanbase about being asked to subsidize his wages.

Özil is not exactly short of cash, his last contract at Arsenal earned him over $70 million.

But dissenting voices amongst the Fenerbahçe fanatics are few. If anything, it is the opposite.

On Twitter, supporters complained there was a 6-text donation limit, whilst others suggested they would go without food or cigarettes to make the deal happen.

Ergun Bulbul, a fan who has donated to the club on several occasions, is unconcerned about fans being asked to fund the deal.

“The debt situation, of course, worries us as well as any team fan, but we have a large community and a financially well-informed president and administrative staff, we believe it will be overcome.

“The Mesut Özil transfer means not only hiring a star football player but also adding a valuable brand. 

“The fans did their best [with] SMS and other financial support. As success comes, debts will naturally decrease.” 

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Another fan who donated, Burak Saglam, believes the deal goes beyond Fenerbahçe and makes a bigger statement.

“The transfer of Mesut Özil is not only a transfer in itself, it does a great job promoting the country's [soccer],” he says.

I did find one supporter who had concerns about the way the cash was raised. But they declined to speak to me for the story.



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