THE WAY FORWARD

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Following up on Oz Kanka’s match report last week from the Gencler v Kasimpasa match and his scathing comments about the 19 Mayis Stadium organisation, or should I say disorganisation, made me `put pen to paper`.

Taking my footie team (Hibernian) Stadium as an example, I can recall when Easter Road Stadium had a capacity of 65,000 when we were all packed into the Stadium like sardines (or hamsi !) standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers. Call them the Good Olde Days if you will, but we have progressed since then.

Successive Hibs directors have upgraded the Stadium to modern standards by building new Stands with recognised safety standards, comfortable seating, numerous quality food and drink outlets, numerous clean toilets, and easy access to the Stadium. However, the downside is that the Stadium capacity has been cut to 17,000.

Not content with resting on their laurels, the present Board of Directors are now considering enhancing one of the Stand’s to increase the Stadium capacity to 20,000 in the next year or two. This has been brought about by several reasons.

The performance of the team on the pitch and the success it has achieved.

The increase in season ticket sales.

The demand for tickets which at times has exceeded capacity - turning up at the Stadium on match day and hoping to gain access without a ticket sometimes doesn't work these days !

The `feel good` factor of the fans entering a modern and comfortable Stadium.

In addition to this project, the Club has built a new `state of the art` Training Facility in East Lothian with outdoor and indoor facilities to match those of the `Big Guns` in England. This will be ready for use next season when the grass has `taken`.

Turning to Ankara (the Capital City of Turkey) and compare the facilities at the 19 Mayis Stadium which are quite honestly atrocious for a `1st World` city.

Of course, we all know that the wheels of progress move slowly in Turkey and we can see that everywhere we look, eg, road upgrading, railway modernisation, driving standards, etc.

So, it is long overdue to upgrade Stadiums and bring them into the 20th Century (the 21st Century may take longer !!). Kadikoy Stadium is an example of what can be done and of course Fener have the money to do it. However, as I said before, Ankara is the capital city of Turkey and should be showing the way forward. It is also the `flagship` city of Turkey and should be hosting more International matches if it had a modern Stadium which it could be proud of !

It is time for the Turkish Government to recognise this and do something positive. Perhaps as a first step they could send representatives from the TFF to Easter Road Stadium in Edinburgh and see what can be done !!!

The footie fans of this country deserve better. So, let’s move forward Turkey !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

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