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TURKISH FOOTBALL
Protected by Laws, ruled by politics
Tolga Şenel, Freelance Consultant
tolga@tolgasenel.com
SUMMARY

•  Autonomy
•  Legal Protection
•  Political Football
•  Conclusion
AUTONOMY
AUTONOMY

Sports Administrators are addicted to
a phenomenon;

The Autonomy of Sport
AUTONOMY
IN AN IDEAL WORLD,
UNDERSTAND

Specificity
of Sport

PROVIDE

Sport
Exemption

Legal
Protection
WELCOME TO
"More than ideal"
WORLD
LEGAL PROTECTION
•  The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) was granted autonomy
after a Law adopted on 17 June 1992
•  Şenes Erzik was appointed by the Prime Minister in 1989 as
the President of TFF and in 1992 he became the first
elected President of the TFF.
LEGAL PROTECTION
TFF rights as described in the Law;
a) To organize, regulate and monitor all football activities within Turkey;
b) To promote the development and expansion of football throughout the country;
...
d) To organize and regulate competitions at all levels and take all necessary steps to ensure the
admission and participation of its representative national and club teams in international
competitions;
...
f) To ensure that its own members, clubs, football players, officials, managers, head coaches and
trainers, medical staff, players’ agents, match agents and all other related people comply with the
statutes, regulations and directives set forth by FIFA, UEFA and the TFF as well as the decisions
adopted by the competent organs and bodies of these governing bodies;
AND MORE...
LEGAL PROTECTION
CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
IX. Youth and sports
...
B. Development of sports and arbitration
(Paragraph added on March 17, 2011; Act No. 6214) The decisions of sport
federations relating to administration and discipline of sportive activities may
be challenged only through compulsory arbitration. The decisions of Board of
Arbitration are final and shall not be appealed to any judicial authority.
BUT!

Football is still ruled by politics...
POLITICAL FOOTBALL
STADIA

•  All major stadiums in Turkey
are constructed and owned
by the ministry of Sport
•  Most are leased to clubs or
municipalities for free or a
very reasonable price
Major Stadium Investments In Turkey

completed	
  
near	
  to	
  comple-on/significant	
  progress	
  
tender	
  process	
  completed/construc-on	
  started	
  
Major Stadium Investments In Turkey + 2011 General Elections

completed	
  
near	
  to	
  comple-on/significant	
  progress	
  
tender	
  process	
  completed/construc-on	
  started	
  

AKP	
  

CHP	
  

MHP	
   IND.	
  
LEAGUES

Spor Toto;
• 

is the state sports betting authority,

• 

naming sponsor of the Super Lig, 2. Lig
and 3. Lig,

• 

sponsor to 14 clubs in the league,

• 

distributes money from sports betting to
all clubs in top 4 divisions

Digiturk
• 
• 

Is the broadcaster of the league paying
approximately $500m per year,
The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of
Turkey (TMSF) seized Digiturk in May
2013 because of the debts of the
majority shareholder Çukurova Holding
LEAGUES

TRT;
•  is the public TV Channel and
broadcaster of 1. Lig
PTT;
• 

is the national Post Office and naming
sponsor of 1. Lig

ZİRAAT BANKASI;
• 

is a public bank and naming sponsor of
the Turkish Cup
TFF, CLUBS and MORE

• 

The President of TFF had to get
permission from Prime Minister to
become a candidate

• 

According to many journalists Yıldırım
Demirören is appointed by Erdoğan

• 

A new type of FC invented. Municipality
Sport Clubs! They almost have no fans
but plenty of sponsors and resources

• 

Cities/Clubs with top level AKP
connections are going up the football
tiers

• 

Some artificial fan groups established
to curb the power of non AKP-friendly
groups
TFF
CLUBS
STADIUMS
BROADCASTER
SPONSORS
FANS

þ
þ
þ
þ
þ
ý (coming soon)
TWO CASES
ALTAY SK

KASIMPASA A.S.

• 

Most consistent football team of Izmir

• 

Secular fan base

• 
• 
• 

Is a district in Istanbul where Erdogan was born
and raised

• 

1959 - 2003

• 

Conservative fan base

The club with highest appearance in top division
after Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas

1959 – 2003
• 

Never played in top tier since 1964

Only two seasons without an Izmir team in top
flight and 4 seasons without Altay

• 

Was playing in the fourth tier league in 2002-03

Never got relegated to

3rd

tier

2003 - 13
• 

Relegated to 3rd tier league and playing there in
the last 3 seasons

• 

Promoted 4 divisions in just 5 season

• 

A new home ground (Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Stadium) had been built

• 

Has one of the whealthiest boards in Turkish
Football.

Never played again in Super League

• 

2003 – 13
CONCLUSION..
•  Autonomy without good governance in practice may be
useless and/or dangerous
•  It's difficult to claim autonomy without economic
independence
•  A culture of accepting and respecting autonomous
institutions is more important than regulations
THANKS...
	
  

TOLGA ŞENEL
Freelance Consultant
tolga@tolgasenel.com

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Turk'sh Football - Protected by Laws, ruled by politics

  • 1. TURKISH FOOTBALL Protected by Laws, ruled by politics Tolga Şenel, Freelance Consultant tolga@tolgasenel.com
  • 2. SUMMARY •  Autonomy •  Legal Protection •  Political Football •  Conclusion
  • 4. AUTONOMY Sports Administrators are addicted to a phenomenon; The Autonomy of Sport
  • 5. AUTONOMY IN AN IDEAL WORLD, UNDERSTAND Specificity of Sport PROVIDE Sport Exemption Legal Protection
  • 6. WELCOME TO "More than ideal" WORLD
  • 7. LEGAL PROTECTION •  The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) was granted autonomy after a Law adopted on 17 June 1992 •  Şenes Erzik was appointed by the Prime Minister in 1989 as the President of TFF and in 1992 he became the first elected President of the TFF.
  • 8. LEGAL PROTECTION TFF rights as described in the Law; a) To organize, regulate and monitor all football activities within Turkey; b) To promote the development and expansion of football throughout the country; ... d) To organize and regulate competitions at all levels and take all necessary steps to ensure the admission and participation of its representative national and club teams in international competitions; ... f) To ensure that its own members, clubs, football players, officials, managers, head coaches and trainers, medical staff, players’ agents, match agents and all other related people comply with the statutes, regulations and directives set forth by FIFA, UEFA and the TFF as well as the decisions adopted by the competent organs and bodies of these governing bodies;
  • 10. LEGAL PROTECTION CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY IX. Youth and sports ... B. Development of sports and arbitration (Paragraph added on March 17, 2011; Act No. 6214) The decisions of sport federations relating to administration and discipline of sportive activities may be challenged only through compulsory arbitration. The decisions of Board of Arbitration are final and shall not be appealed to any judicial authority.
  • 11. BUT! Football is still ruled by politics...
  • 13. STADIA •  All major stadiums in Turkey are constructed and owned by the ministry of Sport •  Most are leased to clubs or municipalities for free or a very reasonable price
  • 14. Major Stadium Investments In Turkey completed   near  to  comple-on/significant  progress   tender  process  completed/construc-on  started  
  • 15. Major Stadium Investments In Turkey + 2011 General Elections completed   near  to  comple-on/significant  progress   tender  process  completed/construc-on  started   AKP   CHP   MHP   IND.  
  • 16. LEAGUES Spor Toto; •  is the state sports betting authority, •  naming sponsor of the Super Lig, 2. Lig and 3. Lig, •  sponsor to 14 clubs in the league, •  distributes money from sports betting to all clubs in top 4 divisions Digiturk •  •  Is the broadcaster of the league paying approximately $500m per year, The Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey (TMSF) seized Digiturk in May 2013 because of the debts of the majority shareholder Çukurova Holding
  • 17. LEAGUES TRT; •  is the public TV Channel and broadcaster of 1. Lig PTT; •  is the national Post Office and naming sponsor of 1. Lig ZİRAAT BANKASI; •  is a public bank and naming sponsor of the Turkish Cup
  • 18. TFF, CLUBS and MORE •  The President of TFF had to get permission from Prime Minister to become a candidate •  According to many journalists Yıldırım Demirören is appointed by Erdoğan •  A new type of FC invented. Municipality Sport Clubs! They almost have no fans but plenty of sponsors and resources •  Cities/Clubs with top level AKP connections are going up the football tiers •  Some artificial fan groups established to curb the power of non AKP-friendly groups
  • 20. TWO CASES ALTAY SK KASIMPASA A.S. •  Most consistent football team of Izmir •  Secular fan base •  •  •  Is a district in Istanbul where Erdogan was born and raised •  1959 - 2003 •  Conservative fan base The club with highest appearance in top division after Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas 1959 – 2003 •  Never played in top tier since 1964 Only two seasons without an Izmir team in top flight and 4 seasons without Altay •  Was playing in the fourth tier league in 2002-03 Never got relegated to 3rd tier 2003 - 13 •  Relegated to 3rd tier league and playing there in the last 3 seasons •  Promoted 4 divisions in just 5 season •  A new home ground (Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium) had been built •  Has one of the whealthiest boards in Turkish Football. Never played again in Super League •  2003 – 13
  • 21. CONCLUSION.. •  Autonomy without good governance in practice may be useless and/or dangerous •  It's difficult to claim autonomy without economic independence •  A culture of accepting and respecting autonomous institutions is more important than regulations
  • 22. THANKS...   TOLGA ŞENEL Freelance Consultant tolga@tolgasenel.com