Mehmet Ali Birand, a commentator on seemingly everything in Turkey, on Saturday once again tried to justify the saving of bankrupt Galatasaray. In today's TDN he manages to start out with Hamas, then talks about Ottoman kiddies in the harem and then moves on to a sculpture exhibition and then goes in to bat for Galatasaray in an article entitled "It really starts now".
I'll leave Hamas, Ottoman history and sculpture to other blogs (the technorati blog search engine found more than 70,000 posts containing the word Hamas, Genclerbirligi returned 120 results of which almost a third are from this particular blog)... what was I saying. Ah, yes, Birand today uses the arguement that Fenerbahce fans shouldn't be laughing at Galatasaray's predicament. Here is an excerpt:
If Galatasaray gives up on seeking the championship, Fenerbahce's campaign will also suffer.
If Fenerbahce remains alone in contention, no one will go and watch their matches. Interest in them will decrease. There has to be some sort of competition in sports to generate excitement.
Would you watch their matches on TV with your friends?
I would like to make a recommendation to Fenerbahce supporters.
Don't wish for Galatasaray to destroy itself. Without the traditional rivalry between the two teams, Fenerbahce will not be as interesting as it used to be. Just leave us to restore Galatasaray to its former strength and wait until we both can enjoy beating each other on the pitch.
Even I'm prepared to admit that a Fener V Galatasaray game is the sort of derby that gets my attention (click here for a wonderful earlier posting on just what the rivalry is like) but for damn sake there is more to the Turkish league than these two. The rivalry will continue no matter how crap Galatasaray becomes (just look at interest in Australian cricket for the last 16 years of the Ashes - not the counting the last one of course).
Perhaps Galatasaray going down the tubes will be good for the game as a whole, more money to spread around to other clubs, a more competitive league and ultimately, a league win for Genclerbirligi or Ankaragucu (well possibly not the last point).
One of the biggest advantages might be that people in Ankara who currently support Galatasaray might decide to actually support one of their home teams.
As I have said before, let the pampered boys go bankrupt. And when they do, I certainly won't be shedding a tear, nope, I'll be jumping for joy, just like those Fenerbahce fans who have upset Mr. Birand.