Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Except for those who like Ankaraspor obviously

A few weeks ago a London-based Irishman named Brendan left a comment on the blog asking a few questions.

I notice that you have an amusing disregard for Ankaraspor, could you explain a bit of the background to this?

How does all this reflect itself this week for Gencler-Ankaraspor? Would Gencler have the vast majority support?

I promised that at one stage I'd explain all but have yet to really have a chance. Then in the last few days there has been a lively little discussion over at Gulay's blog where a fellow called Ahmet Turgut (who runs a site called Turkish soccer - its football Ahmet!) jokingly asked me to go easy on Ankaraspor as his brother-in-law Giray Bulak is their coach.

Well Eski Kanka has already stated that he doesn't mind Ankaraspor but I guess the time has come for me to outline my reasons.

First up. It is very difficult to get excited about a team that has no support. While Genclerbirligi may not have has many fans as Barcelona I've been to three or four Ankaraspor matches and rarely has the number of fans been more than 50.

One particular match earlier this year they were actually giving away tickets for the Ankaraspor side of the stadium and still practically no-one showed up. They charged us Gencler fans 50 kurush (about 10p) for our tickets and I'd just like to point out here that Viking Kanka Jens has yet to pay me back.

Ankara already has two fairly-well supported teams in the Super League, we don't need a third. Neither does Turkish football when you consider that cities like Antalya and Adana don't have any in the top flight this year.

Then there is the politics behind the team. It is owned by the Ankara Buyuksehir Belediyesi (The Greater Ankara Council).

I heard a nice little story from one of the Kankas on Saturday that council workers are given a day off work if they show up wearing the Ankaraspor gear. Urban myth? Possibly, but if true a lot of bus drivers would prefer to be terrorising us on the streets than watching Ankaraspor.

Now I question how do they pay their players and management. They certainly can't cover it with gate receipts. Perhaps they have lots of sponsors but my guess is that the taxpayers are shelling out for this. Considering just how much work needs to be done in Ankara, it does seem like a slightly inappropriate priority.

Even if it doesn't cost the taxpayers one kurush to support the team there is what the council is doing just across the road from the 19 Mayis stadium.

I have to admit that Genclik Park needed refurbishment but the plan to get all the bars out of the park is just evil. Eski Kanka and myself actually met each other in the Sahil Pub and it was our regular meet-up spot. If people without season tickets showed up to join us we could easily send them across the road to get them while we continued drinking the cheap beer.

Now this was just great, until the council cut off the water to the pub and we were forced to meet up in Kizilay instead.

I have nothing against the coach, the players, the ball boys or the style of football Ankaraspor play but for all the reasons outlined above, especially the anti-alcohol mayor, I will never go easy on Ankaraspor.

At the same time, however, you may have noticed that there aren't too many anti-Ankaraspor articles on the blog (this is the first I think), I just prefer to ignore them.


  1. Anonymous8:35 am

    Hello oz kanka, I agree with every thing you say about Ankaraspor. I just wanted to know why you did not like Ankaraspor!...that's all!.

    As far as your comment on soccer not being football...tell me what country uses the internet more?..yes,you guest it...North America...so when people search for turkish football , they search "turkish soccer", that's the only reason why I have the name...I do agree with you on the other hand , I fightwith my American friends every day, about this matter....
    lastly, I do not like Ankaraspor but because of Giray, I do follow them real close....I hope you understand my position!...
    Keep up the good work!...
    You guys are good!....
    Soccer Regards,

  2. Ahmet hit an Eski Kanka nerve !! I became a footie referee after a serious foot injury and climbed to the Dizzy Heights of Class 1. I reffed in the Cyprus League Div 1, the Rothmans Hellenic League and the old Southern League (now the Conference) and then relucantly had to give it up when I became too `Eski` to blow my whistle. The point many footie fanatics miss is that the name of the game is ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL and that is the law and no other name can or will be used. I have never and will never accept the word `soccer` as related to Football, but of course, if our American cousins insist on using it then I will just ignore them. It you are a footie fanatic then you must NOT use the word `soccer` !!

    As for Ankaraspor, c'mon you guys .... have a heart. This city is big enough for 3 teams, and if The Mayor wants to back them with all his resources then that is to be applauded. As for the closure of Genclik Park, yes, we are all sad and crying into our EFES, but time will tell if the the park can rise from the ashes and be our `home` again.

    I will be supporting Ankaraspor in their bid to avoid the `big drop`, but not I may add at the expense of ANKARAGUCU !!!

    All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

  3. Anonymous1:09 pm

    Thank you !!

    Yes, you hit the nerve, very good spot at the right time! You could have added stories about this mayor and his past as a member of the "grey wulf scene", but only this comment shows what kind of thinking is ruling actually here in the country - and of course in Ankara. If there is a possibility to stop or to ignore them - do it!
    Behind this football scene there is ONLY politics! But lets get to business, Gencler faces Trabzon in the probably most important game of the season, beat them and we are very, very near to UEFA...

    I will watch in Istanbul the clash of the 2 german coaches Daum (Fener) against Lorant (Sivas) but
    I count on you to cross fingers in 19 mays for Gencler as I do there !!

    All the best from Lanky Kanka JÖRG

  4. I think we can excuse Ahmet for having "an interest" in Ankaraspor, what with the brother-in-law coaching them, but as for the soccer thing, Ahmet your job is to convince the Yanks, not conform.

  5. Here's hoping for an Ankaragucu, Gencler and Sivas victoreeee this weekend in the name of the game....


    Yooro footie back in Ankara is what we are all hoping for.

    All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

  6. Anonymous11:23 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to answer Oz Kanka.

    I knew that Ankaraspor had few fans but I really didn't realise they have only 50 there at some games!!

    I had an eye on both of the Ankara-Istanbul games last weekend. Dissapointing. For the second game in a row Gucu looked dangerous particularly attacking down the left but were undermined by bad defending and possibly a lack of belief.

    Gencler seemed to have decent possession at Gala but couldn't score to save their lives! Not even from the spot.

    Interesting games this weekend, big game for Gencler against Trabzon. I'll be able to watch that one. You'll be hoping Gucu will have done a number in Kayseri just beforehand.

    If Gencler are 4th on Sunday night it will have been a good day for you boys!



  7. Cheers Brendan, we try to please, even if the Ankara football teams don't seem to sometimes.

  8. I think Brendan hit the nail on the head when he mentioned a lack of belief from Ankaragucu. As I mentioned in a few of my recent reports, they have been playing some nice footie, but the name of the game is hitting the back of the net ! There is also the question of pressure to consider and looking UP at the other teams in the league table brings added pressure which comes from many directions, eg, directors, committee, supporters, sponsors, etc.
    However, Mr Optimistic is feeling optimistic today and I feel that tomorrow is going to be a day for celebrations !!!!

    All the best from Eski Kanka Jim