By Erdal Celi̇kel
Over the last two years, Turkish football clubs have made more in signings than they have spent, according to a data analysis by Anadolu Agency.
Turkish Central Bank data shows that Turkish clubs earned $71 million in profit from signings from the January 2016 to February 2018.
Clubs in Turkey are trying to adapt themselves to financial fair play rules by UEFA, European Football's governing body, to avoid sanctions or being banned from UEFA club competitions, the top-tier Champions League, or the second-tier Europa League.
In the biggest moves over the two-year period, Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun moved to English Premier League club Everton this January, Medipol Basaksehir winger Cengiz Under was signed by Italy’s Roma last summer, and Fenerbahce's Danish central defender Simon Kjaer made his way to Spain's Sevilla last August.
Data shows that in 2016, Turkish clubs earned a $23 million profit in player transfers, and $16 million last year. The clubs also reaped a $32 million profit in this year's mid-season transfer window in January and February.
From 2008 to 2015, in contrast, Turkish clubs paid out more for transfers than they paid, to the tune of $425 million, especially in 2013, which saw a $96 million gap.
Under the Financial Fair Play system, UEFA monitors clubs to make sure they are not spending more money than they earn, a measure created to help teams avoid financial problems in the long-term.
If a club is found to have violated fair play rules, it faces a range of penalties from a warning to disqualification from European competition.
The rules were introduced in 2011 to ensure clubs do not face financial problems from spending more than they earn in a bid to achieve success.
Galatasaray, one of Turkey’s leading clubs, already missed European competition during the 2016-17 season for violating financial fair play rules.
UEFA imposed a one-year ban on Galatasaray for not complying with financial fair play terms, as it failed to comply with the break-even requirement during the monitoring period in the 2015-16 season.
- Turkish clubs' balance of transfer fee income and expenditures since 2008 are as follows:
Balance of transfer fee income and expenditures ($ million)
January & February 2018