Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Klukowski saga

In the last couple of days we have had a few requests from Canada for information on the what the hell has happened to Michael Klukowski.

Well, first up let me say that we don't know a lot. The Turkish press have been fairly quiet on the matter and the club haven't said anything since news came in that the Canadian Klukowski has left the club. According to documents published by Sporx.com Klukowski's lawyers sent the club a "3th (sic) official formal notice and demand for payment" to the club on March 29. The pictures are a little difficult to read so let me quote from the fax:

"I refer to the two Official Formal Notices and Demand for Payment on the 28th of February, 2011 and on the 8th of March 2011, both of them remained unanswered and without effect," said the faxed letter addressed to Ahmet Gokcek and Ankaragucu General Manager Ender Yurtguven.

"I also remind you that I had already sent you another Official Formal Notice of Demand for Payment on the 16th of Decemember 2010, which led to the payment of outstanding amounts owed to my client at the end of December 2011 (sic). This means that my client did not receive any payment within last 3 months," the lawyer's letter continued.

"This letter is therefore to be considered as LAST OFFICIAL FORMAL NOTICE AND DEMAND FOR PAYMENT," the lawyer shouted.

As I said, this fax was dated March 29. Yurtguven responded ... well, basically tried to sweep the matter under the carpet on April 6. Ajansspor quoted Yurtguven as saying that Klukowski had approached the club wanting payment but that the club had told him that they would not do a deal on outstanding payments with an individual player but with the whole club, something that he hoped would be worked out very soon. In other words, you ain't getting nothing mate. Yurtguven said that Klukowski then told them that in that case he would leave the club. To which they gave the Canadian one or two days to make up his mind.

The stand of the club though was pretty clear by the next thing Yurtguven said:

"If he wants to leave the club, we will send him on. Because no one is bigger than the Ankaragucu club," the general manager said, adding that the club had spoken to its lawyers and there was nothing that would allow the cancellation or dissolution of the contract.

Klukowski obviously thought differently as it appears that sometime last week he walked out. As far as we are aware there hasn't been any statement from Ankaragucu since then.

No doubt this one is off to the courts.

A couple of points. We all know that Ankaragucu has massive financial and legal problems (see our summaries here and here) and it is still very unclear where the club will get the money to pay other players like Vittek and Sestak who are in the exact same position as Klukowski.

The other thing is that even if the club comes up with the money owed to current players, there must certainly be stories travelling around the football community that this is a club that doesn't pay. All not happy in the Ankaragucu camp.

EDIT: Oh yes, I should put in the link to Noland's thread on The Voyagers, a Canadian soccer supporters forum where this whole thing has baffled many for a few days now. Don't worry Voyagers, we are just as baffled as you are.


  1. Anonymous2:59 pm

    Dont know where to start on this one. On one hand the player has signed a contract, fecking pay him his money, its embarassing for the club and doesnt give a good image when looking to bring in other players.

    On the other hand, the club is struggling financialy and players like sapara, sestak, vittek are still commitied without pay, Klukowski just walks out. A reflection on modern day footballler, money first, football second.

    Btw oz, any news on why Jarioslaw Cerny still hasnt played when he is fit?


  2. No idea about Cerny. He did miss some training sessions through injury 12 days ago though.

  3. nolando5:30 pm

    Thanks for the post. We Canadian supporters appreciate you keeping us updated.


  4. I'm with Klukowski on this one and I can't totally agree with Nadeem's comments.

    It is FIRSTLY up to the Club to honour everything in the contract, especially for foreign players who come to Ankara expecting to be treated fairly.

    If this sorry story continues, as it did in the case of all the other foreign players last season the name of Ankaragucu will be forever stained and tarred with the same brush.

    If ever there was a case for the Gokceks to 'put up or shut up' then this is it.

    Players are no different than anyone else in as much as they have a career and expect to be paid and looked after. I won't forget the embarassment I personally felt when Bebbe was kicked out of his hotel last season after the Club didn't pay his bill. Shame on Ankaragucu for that !

    Let's hope that sense prevails in the next day or so and that this matter is resolved and put to bed, otherwise ........ !!!!

  5. I love my students too, but past a certain point if a school decided not to pay me, I would have to look for work elsewhere.

    I was hoping Oz would catch this quote (and of course he did not disappoint):

    "If he wants to leave the club, we will send him on. Because no one is bigger than the Ankaragucu club," the general manager said,"

    Classic. It is ok for Yurtguven to besmirch the good name of Ankaragucu with this kind of behavior, but it is not ok for Klukowski to expect payment for his services? Give me a break.

  6. Oh my God! I agree with Sir Eski on something!

    They might be being paid lots of money but a contract is a contract and if the employer refuses to pay up then legally the employee has the right to withdraw their labour. Employers all over the world would love to be able to do what the Gokceks have been doing. That's why they hate organisations that stand up for employees.

    Altogether now...

    "There is power in a factory, power in the land
    Power in the hands of a worker
    But it all amounts to nothing if together we don’t stand, there is power in a union"

  7. I never told this to Oz Kanka before, but .... before I joined the RAF I was a member of the Engineering and Boilermakers UNION in Scotland !!!

    So, Billy Boy's vid clip was a nice one Oz ! Brought back memories !!!

    Anyway, back to the present and if this is not resolved fairly soon, then we might see more of the Ankaragucu foreigners jumping ship.

    If that happens then perhaps the only player left standing will be ............ Eski's own .... Murat Duruer ........ arghhhhhhh !!!!

  8. yeah i guess youse are right guys. It isnt good on our image. As Jim said its time for Gokcek to put up or shut up

  9. Anonymous10:35 pm

    Whether a player is on 1000 pounds a week or 10000 pounds a week the club should pay him what they agreed to in his contract.Simple as.
    Two things now, both bad news for Ankaragucu.An unpaid player is an unhappy player and it follows that intentionally or not, he's unlikely to be on top of his game.Secondly, and just as seriously,this sends out all the wrong messages to any prospective future signings Foreign OR Turkish.
    Which, before from last weekends result, makes it all the more remarkable how well the team have done of late.

    Dublin Neil,

  10. The one thing i hate about football is how it is now ruined by money. But on second thoughts and reading what was said above Klukowski is the one in the right. He has a contract and should be paid. It really doenst do our image any good.

    With vittek, sapara and sestak all in the same boat its going to be hard times ahead if this isnt sorted

  11. Anonymous5:38 am

    Hi, Canadian supporter here. I'd also like to add that Klukowski has recently had a child with his wife. Of course he needs money to support them and any man in the same situation should and would do the same thing. I'm not happy to see this happen, I like the turkish league a lot as it's been great for Josh Simpson but this is just ridiculous. I'm glad you supporters understand Mike's situation even without knowing about the new born. Cheers

  12. No problem Canadian supporter. I hope everything works out for Michael for his sake and the clubs sake as well