What is slowing down all the big Istanbul clubs – is Galatasaray still rushing?

What is slowing down all the big Istanbul clubs - is Galatasaray still rushing?

The Turkish championship went to Galatasaray by a wide margin last season. In the end, Cimbom was eight points ahead of Fenerbahce and ten ahead of Besiktas. In Turkey, they fear that the record champions (23 titles) could perhaps even further rush this year. Even if the league start at Kayserispor (0-0) was messed up last Saturday.

One thing unites the dominant teams in the SüperLig: Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas are condemned to financial modesty. The reason is the spending limits on the part of the association. According to this, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, each with a debt of 240 million euros, may only have 64 million euros in expenditure – salaries included. Besiktas, which owes around 200 million euros, is 35 million euros. Calculated TV and sponsorship income serve as the basis for the determination.

There are no large transfer fees, the top salary cap is around three million euros net. Galatasaray certainly has the strongest squad – especially in depth. The Champions League qualifier signed striker Mauro Icardi after the loan from PSG for ten million euros – payable in five installments, which means that only two million currently flow into the spending limit. The services of Leverkusen’s former record purchaser Kerem Demirbay cost Cimbom just 3.7 million euros – including bonuses of up to six million. Ex-Schalke Kaan Ayhan has been committed for 2.8 million euros.

Other players who definitely improve the quality of the Turkish champions came for little money, on loan or on a free transfer. Leipzig parked track player Angelino on the Bosporus, Palace crowd favorite Wilfried Zaha and Shakhtar right winger Tete didn’t cost any money. And the sums for the strikers Cedric Bakambu (700,000 euros) and Halil Dervisoglu (500,000 euros) were also limited.

Above all else in this phase of the season is the qualification for the Champions League, for which Cimbom only has to eliminate the Norwegian representatives Molde FK in the play-offs. From a sporting and financial point of view, the first participation in the group phase of the premier class has been indispensable since 2019. “This goal drives us. That’s where we belong,” clarifies coach Okan Buruk.

Clever transfers like Dzeko or Tadic: Fenerbahce is also aiming for the championship

Meanwhile, Galatasaray’s arch-rivals are cooking – even more – on the back burner. Fenerbahce is still aiming for the first championship since 2014. “Our fans have suffered a lot in recent years. I promise that we will now achieve our goal,” Ali Koc put himself under maximum pressure before his sixth season as Fener president.

Clever transfers were made in any case: Ex-Wolfsburg player Edin Dzeko (37, Inter), Ajax captain Dusan Tadic (34) and ex-Freiburger Ryan Kent (26, Glasgow Rangers) all came on a free transfer. Fenerbahce paid a total of 18 million euros for the Polish international Sebastian Szymanski (24, Dynamo Moscow) and defender Rodrigo Becao (27, Udinese). “Everyone has leadership qualities,” promises Koc – that’s what was missing recently.

And in the past few days, the reigning runner-up has continued to upgrade, investing 15 million euros in the transfer of Cengiz Ünder (26, Marseille) and 9.74 million euros in Fred (30, Manchester United). Fener started the league with a 2-1 win against Gaziantep – brace from Dzeko. And the newcomers were also directly important factors in qualifying for the Conference League.

Still missing Besiktas, who are given the slightest chance of winning the championship. Coach Senol Günes’ team, which also plays ECL qualifiers and won 1-0 at Karagümrük, was strengthened at least selectively. The most prominent name was ex-Frankfurt Ante Rebic, who moved from AC Milan to the Bosphorus on a free transfer. Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Leicester defender Daniel Amartey also arrived after their contracts expired. Besiktas recently paid 5.25 million euros for Milot Rashica to free the former Bremen player from Norwich City.

But how hard can Fener and Besiktas really get behind the defending champion?


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