Turkish football clubs restructure debt

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and the Turkish Banking Association (TBB) have agreed on a restructuring plan for the roughly TRY 11bn (€1.78bn/$1.94bn)) of debt held by the nation’s soccer teams.

Uncontrolled spending on players by some of the biggest clubs in the country’s 18-club Süper Lig have left them with large debts which have been exacerbated by a collapse in the Turkish currency.

Initially it was rumoured that state lender Ziraat Bankası would restructure the debts of all 18 clubs, which lead to accusations that clubs were getting preferential treatment. But the TBB said no single bank would be handle all of the debts, and instead all banks would continue to manage their own loan risks.

“It is out the question for the debts to be erased or for there to be pricing that is out of market pricing standards in the restructuring,” the TBB said.

Hüsnü Güreli, the TFF’s acting chairman for finance, legal and licensing told Bloomberg HT that banks will now draw up separate restructuring plans for the debts held by each club. The TFF will supervise the teams’ finances after the deal.

Shares in heavily-indebted Instanbul clubs Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe surged following reports of the restructuring.