Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A split league with 22 teams?

I'm a bit late with this news but I've been busy registering French Kanka's dual sim phone and doing a stock take at the Red Lion Club. Better late than never though.

The other day Yildirim Demiroren was elected chairman of the Turkish Football federation and he has apparently already come up with two "çilgin" projects that would make Tayyip Bey proud.

The first thing he did as chairman was to send to UEFA a letter saying that he wanted any penalties for the match fixing scandal to be postponed until the courts have given their verdicts. Well, seems sort of like justice, but then he came up with the interesting bit that individuals should be punished, not clubs. So, if a club chairman organised for his club to win the league then the chairman would go to gaol, if such a decision was made, but the club would still be allowed to play on. Hmmm.

The second was reported in the papers - there has not been an official statement on the matter.

Demiroren wants the top flight to be expanded next year to 22 teams, up from the current 18. To do this, no teams will be relegated this year and three teams from the Bank Big Continent League would be promoted. The last spot would go to Ankaraspor who seem to have won their case against the Federation over their being kicked out a few years ago.

The other bit about this is that that the league would be split into two groups, with the winners of the groups playing a grand final to decide the overall league winners.

As I said, no official statement from the TFF on this one but it certainly sounds like a mess to me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A call to UEFA

Turkish football blogs and whatnot have today been sending around a letter that they are calling on readers to send on to UEFA. Just for your info, here it is. I offer no comment.

Subject: A Quest for Fairplay!
Dear Sir/Madam,
I’m a football fan living in Turkey. It is not a secret that football in Turkey has been full of match-fixing. Everyone has either heard or read or watched the match-fixing stories. Unfortunately, none of the competent authorities has taken these claims serious and cracked down on them. All of the actors in the competent authorities have pretended as if everything is fine and by the book of the universal football norms, intentionally or willy-nilly. As a result of this “collective” neglect, so many football fans have turned their back to the games, even started to hate the game. You cannot even find a single football fan who thinks that the games are won deservingly in Turkey.

The match-fixing scandal erupted in July 2011 and the following investigation and case gave hope to millions of football-lovers including me as two of the three “untouchables” of football in Turkey were also in the investigation file. Moreover, Fenerbahçe president on the one hand, and Beşiktaş coach and member of board on the other, were taken into custody. We started to follow up the investigation with curiosity and hope.

Although the investigation only covered the last 4 months, the picture was so calamitous that it was proved that we were so right in having second thoughts about the football in Turkey. With a slice of hope, we just started to think that our “self-governing” and “autonomous” football federation will not dare to protect “them” once more, while all the mess was so overt.

But the hopes were destroyed again! Football Federation preferred to throw the ball out of bounds. They chose to play for the time and to sidestep instead of taking necessary actions. Federation did not even make a statement about the mentioned clubs, either positively or negatively. The leagues started perfunctorily despite the chaos.

In the last general assembly of Football Federation, the former president defended himself through rising that no one should have a suspicion on his fanship for Fenerbahçe, and then resigned. Following his resignation, the media was full of primary witnesses who were talking about how the former president spent effort to prevent Fenerbahçe from relegation.

Today, Football Federation has elected the new head of the federation: The former Beşiktaş president, whose coach and an important member of board were judged within the investigation. He was also the one who declared that “We will have an agreement with UEFA. If not, Turkish teams will not participate to the UEFA competitions. It’s not a big deal!”

Our belief in a possible cleanup in football in Turkey is diminishing each day. The recent investigation has shown that “no one can touch the three bigs” is still a valid and right statement in Turkey. There is a mess around that nobody can suppress, but the competent authorities cannot even dare to name it!

The dramatic period of match-fixing investigation has proven that the competent authorities and competent people in Turkey lack the capacity and courage to provide a fair play environment. This is why we, as fairplay seekers, want UEFA to take an active role in this chaos. We believe that UEFA will do its best to bring fairplay to Turkey.

We also declare that we will be attentive followers of the process, both in national and international level.
Sincerely yours,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gencler throw it away

Two-nil up after 25-odd minutes. In the bag surely. But no, Gencler managed to give away a goal in stoppage time and it all ended up equal. Total silence from the fans and the Sivas supporters went wild. Extremely disappointing. Oh well, that's football.

Genclerbirligi 3 - 3 Sivasspor

Just me at the Beer Bus but met up with Oguz and Ertank outside the stadium. It was about this moment that I realised I left my season ticket at home. Luckily Orcan got onto the phone and found me one, thus saving me 10 lira. As we waited for the ticket to show up a roar came from inside the stadium. Gencler had scored in the first minute.

I was later told it was Yasin who cut in from the left and took a shot. One or two minutes in and 1-0 up. Still outside the stadium and apparently we had another good chance which Azo managed to miss.

Finally inside and all the play was Gencler and it was no surprise when we scored another in the 25th-something minute. Azofeifa had a freekick from a fair distance and sent it onto Herve Tum, for yet another headed goal for Tum.

It was a beautiful day, the sun was out and the Gencler fans turned out in force and with two goals in the bag everything was looking good.

A few minutes later though and a Sivas player was fouled in the box. The penalty was given, probably correctly, and Sivas converted it. Still, plenty of time left and we were looking much better than Sivas when the half-time whistle went.

Second half and we again were playing the better football but mistakes started to creep in. A few from us and quite a few from the referee. Sivas had started to attack and at times our players were falling asleep. The equaliser for Sivas came in the 56th. Silly defence.

Then the referee started to have his shocker. Sivas were hitting out and whilst he would occasionally give a foul it was pretty clear which side his bread was buttered on.

Despite the ref we managed to go ahead once more after a bit of a goal mouth scramble. We were playing so much better than Sivas and most of the crowd were looking for another, especially after the referee had no choice in giving a Sivas player a second yellow for a vicious tackle on Hursut.

The referee started to really annoy us fans but still Gencler attacked. Then Yasin was sent through by our goalkeeper Ramazan only to be clearly fouled one out from the keeper just THIS much outside the box. A clear red card and Sivas were down to nine men and a goal behind.

Then disaster as Gencler turned off. Into injury time and our defence went to sleep. We just couldn't clear the ball from outside our half. Sivas had shot after shot and then after a goalmouth scramble the ball went in. Of course, the referee had completely missed a foul on us just 30 seconds before the goal.

Just a point. Gencler threw the other two away. This was a match we should have won. Now for two extremely difficult weeks; against Fener and then Galatasaray - both away.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The post I dreaded making, but ...............

the Ankaragucu players can hold their heads up after giving their all since the 'leaves fell off the tree'. It is not their fault that Ankaragucu is relegated after 32 years in the top flight. We all know the individuals who must shoulder the blame and responsibility !

Ankaragucu almsot snatched an unlikely victory yesterday, and but for a questionable penalty decision that went against them at a crucial stage of the match, may well have done. I'm sure that when the referee, Huseyin Sabanci, watches a replay of the incident he will agree with me. However, referees make mistakes the same as anyone else and it is now 'water under the bridge'.

Karabukspor 3 Ankaragucu 2

Team -

Bayram, Mehmet, Gurkan, Umit, Ishak, Orhan, Mert, Bilal, Veli, Kaan and Atilla

Substitutes - Serol, Gokhan and Sinan

We met up in The Chopin to watch the match - Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, No Name Kanka Simon and yours truly. Oh yes, and not forgetting our '5th Man', a bottle of The Macallan (courtesy of Damon) which was consumed with relish after the match to 'drown our sorrows' !

It was pretty much end-to-end footie with both teams playing all out attack. Having said that, Karabuk was looking the more dangerous for the first 20 minutes with Shelton, in particular, and Mehmet Yildiz combining well up front. However, the Ankaragucu defence for once looked well organised yesterday and was coping admirably with all that Karabuk could fire at them.

Then in the 20th minute, Serol took the ball on a run along the left touchline to almost the goal line, looked up, and sent in a high ball over Tomic in goal. The ball hit the post and took a deflection 'the right way' to cross the line with Tomic spinning around in a circle trying to locate the ball ! At first I thought it was a cross, but having seen the replay, there were no Ankaragucu players in the box and I believe Serol scored what can only be described as an opportunist goal.

Karabuk stepped up the pressure and it was Man of the Match Bayram who kept Ankaragucu in front with some excellent and timely saves.

We were 2 minutes into time added on when from a Karabuk free kick into the box the equaliser arrived. It was a lucky goal in a goal mouth melee with about four players all trying to kick the ball, but Jahic managed to get a foot to the ball and toe poked it in for a real sickener of a goal.

Into the 2nd half and Bayram again made some great saves until 'that incident' arrived on 65 minutes. Can't remember who the defender was, but for me he made a clean tackle in the box and won the ball, but the Karabuk attacker fell over his leg and Mr Sabanci pointed to the spot. Sometimes decisions go against you and this was one such case.

The penalty was well taken by Cernat who hesitated briefly on his run up as he was about to strike the ball and Bayram was wrong-footed.

One minute later the Ankaragucu equaliser arrived thanks to a great run by Atilla who took a great pass in his stride and fired the ball into the corner with Tomic well beaten. Simon said ...... 'Ankaragucu was spurred on by injustice' ! Great comment !

At 2-2 I suppose we could accept that it was a fair reflection of play even if Karabuk had the lion's share of the possession (59 to 41). However, the next crucial event in the match, which probably was significant, arrived in the 70th minute when Veli was given a red card (two yellows) for pulling a player back by his shirt.

6 minutes later and the extra man paid off for Karabuk when Jahic was allowed acres of space in the box to head in unmarked for the winner. What a sickener, but having said that, terrible defending by an otherwise good defensive display by Ankaragucu.

Ankaragucu didn't give up and kept up the pressure, but it was not to be.

As I said, a really great team performance from the Youth Team and they can at least be proud that they gave their all. Don't be surprised if this team pull out a victory or two before the end of the season now that the pressure is off.

Next Saturday Ankaragucu will be at home to Eskisehir and probably at 1pm KO. I'll confirm this in the comments section as usual later.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ankaragucu vs Karabukspor Match Preview !

Ankaragucu travel to Karabukspor tomorrow knowing defeat and other results not going there way could see Ankaragucu officially relegated.

Ankaragucu fans have accepted that they will be playing in Bank Aysa next season at very best. Karabukspor are in a relegation fight themselves but have shown some good form in recent weeks to take them just outside the drop zone.

The last time the two sides met Ankaragucu won 2-1 in Ankara thanks to goals from Atilla Garhan and Tonia Tisdell. Since then Ankaragucu have lost most of there players and havent scored in there last 9 games. Karabukspor took advantage of the financial crisis at Ankaragucu and signed Ugur Ucar, Guven Varol, Kagan Soylemezgiller and Ergin Keles on free transfers, they join Ilhan Parlak who signed at the start of the season from Ankaragucu.

The home side have won 4 and drawn 1 in there last five games including impressive wins against Eskisehirspor and Fenerbahce. There key player Floran Cernat the Romanian playmaker has had a big hand in the recent revival of Karabukspor a long with new signing Mehmet Yildiz who signed from Eskisehirspor.

Ankaragucu lost again last week 3-0 at home to Samsunspor, Hakan Kutlu can only hope his young side can find the net and stop this poor run of games without a goal. Ankaragucu gave debuts to two 17 year olds last week as the club continue to go through this tough time in there 102 year history.

Another tough game, lets hope the youngsters do us proud once again as they take to the park without been paid.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With Oz Kanka and Spine out of town at the moment, it falls to me to break the sad news that Gencler had another 'stutter' in their quest to qualify for Yooro Footie next season.

Besiktas 3 Genclerbirligi 2

I wasn't able to watch the match last night so this will be a summary, but if anyone did watch it then please feel free to comment on this brief report.

Team -

Cem, Aykut, Kulusic and Mehmet
Ozgur, Soner, Azofeifa and Zec
Hursut and Tum

Substitutes used - Yasin, Murat and Onur

Gencler opened the scoring in the first half through Tum and that's how it stayed until just after half time when Quaresma equalised.

Almeida put Besiktas (I'm not saying Beshiktrash, well ..... at least for this report !!!) ahead in the 70th minute, but 3 minutes later came the equaliser for Gencler from Azofeifa.

Into the last 15 minutes and I'm sure Gencler fans would have been happy with a point at that stage ?! However, it was not to be.

The man who usually unlocks the door for Besiktas took the opportunity to open it and he duly scored the winner. I'm referring of course to Fernandes who does the same job for Besiktas as Sapara did for Ankaragucu last season. I'm sure we will hear a lot more about him this season and in the future - a class act if ever there was one.

Anyway, all is not lost for Gencler. They have a great opportunity to put the 'ship back on course' next Sunday in the '6 Pointer' at home to Sivas. I'll give the KO time in the comments section of this post when known.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

A feeling of deja vu for lonely Eski Kanka (the Lone Ranger) as he braved a very cold (but snowless) afternoon yesterday to withness another goal-less match by Ankaragucu. Where are all the lazy kankas ?!!! Thank God I'm known in Maraton and a few people came and talked to me - obviously feeling sorry for me !

Ankaragucu 0 Samsunspor 3

Team -

Mehmet, Gurkan, Umit and Ishak
Kaan, Mert, Bilal and Veli
Atilla and Serol

Substitutes - Serkan, Sinan and Oguzhan

(Some new names there to conjour with !!)

I took a nostalgic stroll through Genclik Park on my way to the Stadium and saluted the site where our old meeting place once stood - The Sahil. Great memories of a byegone age when Ankaragucu used to score goals and win !!

On arrival, Gecikondu was in full song, but were well matched by a full away end with a noisy Samsunspor Tribune. There was another one of those 'love-ins' with the Samsun boyz singing Ankaragucu songs ...... awwwwww !! Certainly beats throwing missiles, fists and bad mouthing ! Also, both teams saluted both tribunes before the match got underway. Good to see. However, the leaves are falling off the tree in Maraton and elsewhere !

So to the action ans it was Samsun dictating the play with Ankaragucu doing their best to settle into some kind of rhythm. Samsun was certainly not playing like a team propping up the League alongside Ankaragucu !

Then came the goals in quick succession to kill off any hopes of an unlikely Ankaragucu victory.

10 minutes in and the impressive Bance had his shot blocked by Bayram. The ball rebounded off Bayram back to Bance and from a tight angle on the right, he found the top left corner. On reflection, he really shouldn't have had a second bite of the cherry !

7 minutes later Samsun was awarded a free kick just outside the box. The shot was goalbound but Bayram pulled off a magnificent safe to deny a certain 2nd goal. However, just 1 minute later from a subsequent attack down the left, the equally impressive Ekigho let fly with and unstoppable shot which flew in for No 2 with Bayram helpless on this occasion.

Then on the 25th minute mark the match was more or less killed off. The Ankaragucu defence was pulled to pieces this way and that with some woeful defending. Samsun put together some crisp inter-passing for goal of the match to set up Ekigho for the 3rd goal. Certainly a goal for the footie purists and one which coaches will no doubt replay time and again to their teams to show how it should be done. That said, I doubt if there will many defences as obliging as Ankaragucu's !!

Not much more to say really. It was still 0-3 at the end of the match and Samsun didn't so much take their foot off the pedal in the 2nd half as Ankaragucu stepped up the pressure, but there was only one moment in the match when the breakthough almost came. Around the 50th minute, Ishak had a great goalbound shot which produced a tremedous flying save from Ertugrul to tip over for a corner.

There were a few other shots on goal from Ankaragucu but they were either skied over or well saved by Ertugrul. However, apart from the one great save from Ertugrul he was never really troubled and there was no way that I was on tender-hooks waiting for that elusive Ankaragucu goal !

Yet another mountain to climb next week away to in form Karabukspor. Looks like a 1pm KO on Saturday but I'll confirm that later in the comments section.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, February 18, 2012

MKE Ankaragucu or Ankaragucu A.S ?

Look like that will be what Ankaragucu fans need to decide who they follow. Ankaragucu are £50 Million in debt and it doesnt look like anyone is coming along to rescue us. The circus that is the congress is just about the next average joe who wants to make a name for himself as Ankaragucu president.

Melih Gokcek has said MKE Ankaragucu are finished and wants to change Ankaraspor into Ankaragucu A.S and looks like he will take the club emblem. If MKE Ankaragucu were to go bust and we started again like Fiorentina, Parma and even Leeds United have done as Ankaragucu A.S i would follow them, we would keep our history like the clubs mentioned. But that isnt what Melih wants, he wants to replace Ankaraspor with our name, This guy along with Cemal Aydin has killed the club.

Just look at the empty seats at the game today, Turkish FA and Government dont give a shit about us and neither do some of our own fans taking money from Cemal Aydin and the Gokceks to support them. As Darius Vassell said Ankaragucu are a club that gives so much, but never gets anything back. Well Done Melih, Well Done Cemal, and Well done to the fans who have killed a club of 102 years. Rest In Peace.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ankaragucu vs Samsunspor Match Preview !

Ankaragucu welcome Mesut Bakkal back to the 19 Mayis Stadium on Sunday as they face Samsunspor in the Turkish Super Lig !

Mesut Bakkal took over from Umut Ozat half way through last season. Ankaragucu started to look a very good side under Bakkal and many believe the club were only two players away from a team that could challenge for the title. Bakkal left the club at the start of the season due to unpaid wages and is now manager of Samsunspor.

The last time the two sides met Ankaragucu came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 and should have won the game in Samsun. Simon Zenke and Murat Yildirm gave the home side a 2-0 half time lead, but late goals from Hurriyet Gucer and Atilla Garhan gave Ankaragucu a share of the points.

A lot has changed since then, Ankaragucu have lost a full squad, while Samsunspor have added a couple of quality players to there squad like Theo Gekas and Serdar Ozkan from Ankaragucu to there squad. Gekas is a Greek international striker who has already scored 5 goals since his move a couple of weeks ago. The club have also signed Ugur Boral from Fenerbahce and Dejan Kehler who was signed by Ankaragucu in the summer only to be released without playing a game.

Ankaragucu will be without Club Captain Aydin Toscali again due to injury, and are also set to be without Gokhan Erdogan and Muhammet Turkmen due to injury. Enes Kubat made his debut last week and the young striker will be hoping to get on the score sheet in front of the Ankaragucu fans.

Samsunspor have had good wins over Fenerbahce, Orduspor and Eskisehirspor in recent weeks and will be hoping to win in Ankara as they battle against relegation. Ankaragucu look like they are already down and out and will be looking to get back on the score sheet again. Another tough game for this young Ankaragucu side, but they are improving and lets hope they can give the fans something to cheer about.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Gencler lose at home for the second time this season

World football needs to be run by an Australian! Someone from the Antipodean Aussie Football Downunder Association who knows what it is like having to compete in an uber-male society for advertising revenue and TV rights money against hard sports like Rugby Union, Rugby League and Australian Aerial Ping Pong Rules! There's no messing about in those games, no namby-pamby diving and pretending to be injured bullshit. What the Mersin goalkeeper pulled off on Saturday night was a disgrace. His time-wasting antics were the epitome of all that is wrong with the game that we love.

Having said that, Gencler were crap.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Mersin

Just Little Oz kanka and me on Saturday with Spine pulling out at the last minute. Apparently he had to pack his bags at the last minute for a trip to Dubai where his work are putting him through a defensive security skills programme. No doubt they have heard about the Ankaragucu board's plans to nobble him to prevent any more in depth reporting on their debt situation.

A big crowd for Gencler, the biggest of the season so far and hopes were high. The team seemed up for it but I'm not sure that some of the players had even woken up by the time of the kick-off.

Both sides played attacking football and the first half was fairly enjoyable. Shots were made, but either easily saved or sent out, by both teams and it was probably Herve Tum who went closest with a good shot late in the half that went out for a corner off a defender.

Almost forgot that we probably should have been given a penalty in the first few minutes when Oktay was brought down in the box. Ref didn't give it though.

So we had been playing okay but I was extremely disappointed with Soner. At times he had no idea where the ball was ("It's behind you"), other times he just blasted it to no one at all. Dismal stuff.

Second half and... oh... Mersin score. I can't remember much but it seemed a fairly good goal... I think.

Then the Mersin keeper Hakan started to play the cynical game. You know what I mean, taking forever to take a goal kick. Collecting the ball, immediately kicking it out and then pretending to have been injured whilst collecting the ball. It was annoying, but having watched so much Turkish football it was clear the referee wasn't going to penalise him. Parts of the Gencler crowd started swearing at him, which prompted the older fans to tell them to shut up. We are a gentlemanly club and we don't don't swear, at least not in unison.

Then Nobhead scored for Mersin, after what seemed a foul on Aykut (but I could be wrong on that), and we were down 0-2 with injury time to be played.

It was pretty much all over and then two minutes into injury time we got a penalty which Azofeifa slotted home. Our players rushed into the goal only for the Mersin keeper Hakan to pick up the ball and refuse to let go. He walked out of the goal and off the pitch, still refusing to let go of the ball. The referee eventually came in and one of our lot got a yellow card, as did Hakan.

This ungentlemanly act thus released us Gencler fans from our own gentlemanly code and for the first time in the 10 years or so that I've been watching Gencler the entire Maraton were swearing in unison. This was a display of pure petty cynicism that brings the game into disrepute. If football really wants to be a man's game and not some school playground kick around then cheats like Hakan need to be penalised.

But as I said, Gencler didn't deserve to win.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It's not that we have become blase about Ankaragucu losing, because the Youth Team is doing its best to live in the fast lane of the Super League. The fact is that they can't cope with playing against the 'senior' teams and they are out of their depth .... and so it proved today.

Istanbul BBS 3 Ankaragucu 0

The boys did their best and played some nice footie at times, but they were overwhelmed by an efficient Istanbul BBS team who dominated throughout.

There was only one threat on the Istanbul BBS goal in the 1st half when Serkan shot inside the box, and even though he lost his footing when shooting, his shot came off the post with the goalkeeper well beaten.

Back to the beginning, and it was only Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I who turned up in The Chopin ............ the leaves are not only falling from the Team !!!

It didn't take long for Istanbul to open the scoring. It was a header from Webo (wish we had him in our team !!) who headed in what looked like an offside position. However, after the replay, the linesman was probably correct. The Ankaragucu defender moved forward instead of staying with Webo and that was the wrong tactical decision to take on his part !

Going in at 0-1 down at half time and things were not looking too bad. A half time talk .... some Caykur Rize Cay and who knows what miracles might happen ?! Our half time talk was all about ........ would we be able to cheer Ankaragucu's first league goal since the 4th of January ??!! .... and the answer ........... ???

Into the 2nd half and Istanbul continued to dominate. It only took 10 minutes for the 2nd goal when Serol was at the wrong side of an in-swinging corner kick in a crowded penalty box and headed in for a super own goal.

Then came the talking point of the match when Battle Damaged Kanka raised the first and only laugh of the match when the Istanbul fans (more than Gencler's I may add !!!) did a Mexican Wave on only ONE row of the seats in their area !!! Laugh ? Oh, yes ..... it was so funny that he spilled his luvvlie yummy Efes all over his Italian sweater !!! What a waste of the world's greatest beer me says !!!

Counting down the minutes now and hoping to keep the scoreline respectable and then the 3rd inevitable goal. With 8 minutes remaining, Bayram (who had a great match) made another great save to deny Istanbul. From the resulting corner, an attacking header hit the post, but from the rebound Webo was well place (and unmarked) to head in with Bayram helpless.

So, another nail in the coffin.

The only sensible question now is ............ can Ankaragucu score a goal against 2nd bottom Samsun next Saturday to end the goal drought ??

It is probably going to be the 1pm KO. If so, we will go direct to the Stadium and meet in the usual area of Maraton. I'll confirm this during the week as a comment to this post.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Ankaragucu vs Istanbul BBS Match Preview !

Ankaragucu travel to Istanbul Buyuksehir on Sunday hoping to just get back on the score sheet.

Ankaragucu haven't scored in there last Seven League games and will be hoping they can stop that run on Sunday. They will go into the match without Captain Aydin Toscali who has picked up an ankle injury and will miss the next 2 games.

The Ankaragucu team are suffering from a lack of confidence at the moment, but the young players have shown great commitment and determination to stop this poor run. A tough game in Turkeys Second City awaits them against an inconsistent Istanbul BBS.

Abdullah Avci left Istanbul BBS for the Turkish national team and was replaced by Erdem Arif. The former Galatasaray has had a difficult time in his new job, and star striker Pierre Webo hasn't scored the goals he did at the start of the season.

Istanbul BBS won 3-2 at home to Fenerbahce a couple of weeks ago, but followed that up with a 3-2 defeat against Eskisehirspor and a 2-2 draw at home to Karabukspor. Key players will be Samuel Holmen in midfield and the excellent Doka. Funnily enough it was both players who scored for Istanbul BBS in 2-1 win in Ankara the last time the two sides won. Hurriyet Gucer scored the only goal for Ankaragucu.

A lot has changed since then, Of the team that started that game for Ankaragucu only Umut Kurt will play on Sunday. The financial crisis at Ankaragucu has meant all first team players except Aydin Toscali, Muhammet Turkmen and Mehmet Cogum have left the club. Mehmet Cogum is also struggling with injury and could also miss out.

Key players for Ankaragucu will be Bayram Olgun who had an excellent game against Manisaspor mid week and Atilla Aybars Garhan who will be hoping to get back on the score sheet again.

A tough game for Ankaragucu, lets hope we can get that goal to cheer about.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Dig, dig, dig

You have to start worrying about the capacity of a top flight club to organise its finances properly when the club's debts at an Annual General Meeting are given in a currency that went out of circulation more than six years ago. Yeah sure, it is a cheap shot, but at "The round ball in Ankara" we are renowned for not pulling our punches, especially the cheap ones.

Not only that, the report at the AGM starts with: "Well I don't know what the debt is approximately. But I know the figures."

If I was giving a report on the millions of lira in debt my club was in I think I might actually take in a piece of paper which actually had the names and the figures written on it.

If Ankaragucu really owe trillions of lira not even an Arab oil sheik could save them.

I had to listen bloody carefully but I think I understood the following.

The figures given below are in real Turkish lira. The fellow, I don't know who he is, Mehmet Ural said that these debts were approximate.

The club owes:
Mustafa Akan (owner of an asphalt company that works with the Ankara Buyuksehir Beledeyesi, a former Ankaragucu director and a current director of Ankaraspor whose honorary chairman is Melih Gokcek) - 10 million

Levent Camur (former General Secretary at Ankaragucu) - 2.45 million

Ender Yurtguven (former general manager of both Ankaraspor and Ankaragucu and now back to Ankaraspor FUN FACT: Ender had a beer and a joke with Oz Kanka many years ago) - 1.7 million

Faruk Kalyoncu (former director at Ankaragucu, FUN FACT: Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a witness at his wedding in 2004. Other people to attend included then TBMM Speaker Arınç, then Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül as well as Abdülkadir Aksu, Kürşad Tüzmen Güldal Akşit, Recep Akdağ, Hüseyin Çelik, Cemil Çiçek, Hilmi Güler, Zeki Ergezen, Sami Güçlü and Osman Pepe. I wasn't invited) - 11 million

(inaudible) - 4.5 million

Gordion Insaat (FUN FACT: Oz Kanka has no idea what this company is) - 4.25 million

It doesn't add up, but our unknown figure Mehmet Ural in the video above said that the debts to members of the former Ankaragucu board under Ahmet Gokcek are owed about 41 million lira.

If you know who this fellow is then please comment below this post.

So, on the surface we have a number of former directors (and other unknown people/companies) of Ankaragucu suing to get their money back after the club was taken away from former Chairman Ahmet Gokcek. An Ankara court had found that the AGM at which he took over was not legal due to voting irregularities.

In many ways, except that the figures are so much bigger now, this is very similar to how directors under Cemil Aydin's honorary reign sued to get their own loans back when the Gokceks took over.

So far so petty. In fact it is sort of understandable. If I became a director of the club I'd want it to succeed and if I had a couple of million to spare I may well lend it to the club in pursuit of glory and a league championship in its centenary year. Then, when the courts take the club away from me and my mates I may well head off to the courts to get my money back.

Except that these guys, or at least some of them, had actually launched their court case against the club more than a year ago.

This is a list of the names of people, and what they claimed at the time, who had sued the club back in January last year December 2010. Remember, most of the names below were still working for the club as directors or employees when they sued and most continued to work with the club right up until Ahmet Gokcek was kicked out.

Nuri Elibol 7.902.574,00 TL

Seçkin Odabaşı 1.483.791,00 TL

Ömer F. Kalyoncu 638.711,00 TL

Yavuz Bulut 631. 254,00 TL

Necdet Kuzu 488.488,00 TL

Nadir Koç 2.598.347,00 TL

Mustafa Akan 9.790.670,00 TL

Mehmet Nükte 2.244.582,00 TL

Levent Çamur 3.059.114,00 TL

Ender Yurtgüven 1.753.628,00 TL

Ayhan Atalay 3.115.574,00 TL

Toplam: 33.706.733,00 TL

Why would you sue the club you are working for? Not just working for but for whom you yourself owe so much?

My theory? Quite simple really. It was a doomsday device. The courts had just decided that the AGM that had elected Ahmet Gokcek as chairman would have to be re-held. So, lets loan Ankaragucu millions, anyone who tries to takeover the club will have to pay us.

None of the names listed above really moved to get their loans back until after the club was taken away from the Gokceks.

And so the debts are there. The doomsday device has exploded. And as reported on the blog before, this is only around half of Ankaragucu's debts.

By the way, none of this explains why the club had money hassles before the court decision. Why was the club bus re-possessed? Why was Darius Vasell kicked out of his hotel?

In the meantime, we still don't have a clue as to the background of the new chairman or his plans to sort out this almighty mess. Hopefully we will learn soon.

With special thanks to Spine for lots of hard spade work on this piece. Any inaccuracies above are solely his fault.

And thanks to www.klasspor.com as well.

Who is the new chairman of Ankaragucu?

Spine posted this in a comment. I think it deserves it's own post.

To follow up on Oz Kanka's post a few days ago on how little we know:

I spent a few minutes of my day today trying to answer the question "who is Haluk Ilican?" This service to this blog's loyal readers meant searching google and my company's database of turkish media reports. Total result: He's a bloke, probably from Kirikkale, who may be a "businessman".

The lack of curiosity and seriousness is incredible really. Admittedly Ilican only appeared as a candidate a couple of days before the congress, but no media organization has seen fit to ask even the most basic questions about him: His age, what business he's in, his marital status, his plans, his personal wealth, his criminal record, his pets. There's nothing.

What there is, is an awful lot of cutting and pasting of whatever Anatolia news agency says. Which in this case was very little.

rant over (and I may just be bad at googling)


Too little, too late.

Ankaragucu 0 - Manisaspor 1

Froze my tuchus off last night watching a gradually improving Ankaragucu squad get beat yet again. Contrary to what Hakan Kutlu said we really did not deserve a draw, but the team did look a bit stronger. I'll be back later today with some more details.


Monday, February 06, 2012

Gencler keep climbing the table

This was a great match with twists and turns all the way through. With other results going our way Genclerbirligi now find themselves in fourth place and in a great position to get into the play-offs. There is still a long way to go but my confidence is high.

Kayserispor 2 - 3 Genclerbirligi

I may have been the only Kanka at the Beer Bus on Sunday afternoon but I was joined by about 30 Gencler fans, all of whom were just a little bit scared. Gencler has been playing okay footy since the half-way mark, but not brilliant football. Kayseri on the other hand have been doing pretty well recently.

On to the match and it was good to see we were pretty much back to our regular line-up. Cem Can was back from his red card-forced sidelining. The attack looked good, with Herve Tum up front supported on the wings by Hursut and Yasin. Oktay and Azofeifa in midfield. Aykut back for good at the back and the rest all names we are now familiar with.

Kick-off and er... er... it was all Kayserispor. They looked more dangerous and controlled the vast majority of the ball. It was only a bit of luck that saved us on a few occasions with former Gencler player James Troisi looking especially dangerous.

But football is football and it was pretty much against the run of play when we took the lead. A free-kick from a fair distance. Azofeifa takes it, straight to Aykut's head and in.

Much cheering at the Beer Bus but it wasn't long before Troisi equalised. He had an excellent match for Kayseri. "Your countryman just scored against us" one of the Alkaralar honchos told me as I tried to hide under the table. It wasn't so long ago when they used to clap me on the back as if I had personally scored whenever one of the Gencler Aussies found the back of the net. Not any more obviously.

Half-time and most reckoned we could win the match. We had a few shots well saved, some shots which should have been goals and at least one off the post. We could get this.

Then something we don't see very often. Yasin sent the ball along the ground to Tum just outside the box and he kicked it with a great left footer into the goal. Let me repeat that, he actually kicked, as opposed to headed, a goal. 2-1 up and there was nothing but joy.

Not long later though Kayseri equalised again thanks to some bad man marking at the back. Come'on boys. We can still do it.

And we did. Five minutes of injury time were announced and with one of them gone, Ergun sent a ball through to former Ankaragucu player Murat Dururer on the left. He ran with it and passed perfectly to Ermin Zec who made no mistake. Final result. 2 - 3.

All up a great match. Lots of goals, lots of attacking football from both sides and, most importantly, the right result.

It certainly is fun to be supporting Gencler this season.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Gencler go higher and higher

No time to give a full report at the moment. Genclerbirligi have managed to win away with a last minute goal. It was nerve-wracking stuff. More tomorrow.

Kayserispor 2 - 3 Genclerbirligi

Friday, February 03, 2012

Ankaragucu vs Manisaspor match preview 1

Ankaragucu host Manisaspor this Monday night at home in the Turkcell Super Lig.

Ankaragucu lost at home to Orduspor midweek while Manisaspor lost 3-2 at home to Eskisehirspor. Both sides are on a poor run of form at the moment. Ankaragucu have lost 17 players since the season started, while Manisaspor have failed to win in there last 13 matches.

The last time the two sides met Manisaspor won 2-0 thanks to goals from Erdogan and Gokoglan. At that point Manisa were sitting pretty in the top 5 while Ankaragucu were struggling at the bottom of the table. Since then Ankargucu have lost many players due to unpaid wages and have only won 2 games all season.

Manisaspor hired former Ankargucu manager Umut Ozat who will return to the 19 Mayis stadium for the first time since he resigned. Ozat didn't have the best of times at Ankaragucu and even found himself been attacked by an Ankaragucu fan during a league game.

Both sides are struggling at the bottom of the table, Manisaspor are been dragged into a relegation battle, while Ankaragucu are rooted to the bottom of the league. Manisa have some good players in Isaac Promise, Labinot Harbuzi and Yigit Incedemir. They also have ex Ankaragucu duo Murat Erdogan and Michael Klukowski in the team.

Ankaragucu lost both Ergin Keles and Bora Kork last week and now only have Aydin Toscali, Muhammet Turkmen and Mehmet Cogum from the team that started the season. Young players like Ishak Dogan, Bilal Gulden and Atilla Aybars will be key to the future at Ankargucu and the more games they play the better they will become.

Its going to be another tough game for Ankaragucu, lets just hope the fans get to see Ankaragucu score some goals.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

At least it wasn't four this time

Not much to write about Ankaragucu's 2-0 loss to Ordu tonight. It's all the same ol' story. Maybe I'll write something about the match tomorrow, but given how uninspired I am, I probably won't.

We love you Oktay, we do!

It had a scoresless draw written all over it. Frustration, frustration, but then Oktay pulled off one of our best goals this season. We needed the three points if we are to keep up our challenge for a European spot. In the end we got them.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 0 Gaziantepspor

It is bloody freezing in Ankara at the moment and there was no way I was going to the stadium for tonight's match. A few mad people did, such as Ertank, Thijs and Charlie, but there is no way I was heading off to stand in minus 5 degrees on a Wednesday night.

So instead Little Oz Kanka and myself headed off to the Red Lion Club to watch the match on the telly. Spine joined us a bit after kick-off but there wasn't a lot to say of the Gencler team.

With Cem Can out thanks to a red card in our last match, new signing Ersin Martin was given a chance. It was good to see Aykut back in the starting eleven and despite his nine or 10 goals this season I was happy to see Herve Tum left off the squad.

It all started fairly well with Gencler seeming to be the better team but then Spine showed up at the 20th minute mark and we started playing complete rubbish. A million long balls to no where, and some desperate scrambling defence. Antep should probably have scored but for some great work in goal from Ramazan.

We had the odd chance but it didn't really look like either team was going to score. And so the first half ended 0 - 0.

With Cem Can out thanks to the red card, Hursut was given the captain's armband for tonight. Too much pressure?

"It's the same as when they gave Botham the captaincy," said Spine, referring to something that the Yanks amongst us will have no idea what he is talking about. "Or Flintoff for that matter," I replied.

Hursut was really out of sorts for most of the match.

At the same time though, he is a player who you cannot hold down and who tries his best at all times. He is still, by far, my favourite player in the side.

Both teams went for it in the second half and both were unlucky not to score. Gencler though seemed to really pick themselves up once Ermin Zec was brought on mid-way though the half.

Zec himself didn't seem to be doing that much but the team lifted with the attacking option. Then in the 78th minute Oktay on the left, just inside the box, jinked his man and sent the ball flying. The diving Gaziantep keeper almost got to it. What a goal! Bloody brilliant.

We had to defend a bit towards the end but in the end the three points were ours. We deserved it and our hunt for a European place continues.

How did Ankaragucu fall? We have no idea

How is it that a club that has played for more than 30 years in the top flight of Turkish football suddenly find itself without a single player of note, whose players can't even swap jerseys at the end of a match because there is no money in the coffers?

How is it that a club with more than 100 years of history behind it find themselves on the brink of annihilation? Clubs in Turkey have disappeared before and will disappear again, but this is a club with thousands of supporters. Supporters who have in the last few weeks sent food to the team. A club who has had members of parliament, from both sides of the aile, pledge their support and cash to keep the club running.

No one will pretend that Ankaragucu was not being run in the best of fashions a few years ago. It was a common occurance during matches for the fans to sing their displeasure at the then chairman of club, Cemal Aydin. A number of times Aydin acknowledged this and promised to stand down. When it came to the annual general meetings however, he ran again and again.

Ankaragucu, like all clubs in Turkey, is a club that is run by a board that is elected by its members. Unlike some clubs abroad, you cannot simply buy a club in Turkey. Even those high flying clubs like Galatasaray or Besiktas which are listed on the stockmarket cannot be bought outright. The members still have a vote, and each member's vote is equal.

But just who are the members? How do you become a member? How does a committed Ankaragucu fan get involved in the club if there is almost no way of actually joining the club and therefore gaining a right to vote? At the last Extraordinary General Meeting in November last year, following a court decision to annual the AGM where the Gokceks took control, just 130 members voted - One-hundred-and-thirty -

A decent club will have membership details on its website. Just as an example I give the Balmain Rugby League club which I supported back in Australia, and which many members of my family have been members of for many, many years. Click on this link and you'll see how to become a member, what the latest accounts are, what were the results of the latest AGM. You can't find any of this on the Ankaragucu website (or on many other Turkish football clubs' websites for that matter). As I write this post, the Ankaragucu website hasn't been updated for almost two months.

When thinking about writing this post I realised just how little I know about how football clubs work in Turkey. With that in mind I want to talk about Ankaragucu and just how little we know about why the club has collapsed.

At "The round ball in Ankara" we have written before about the political problems the club has faced. The timeline is here.

The question I'd like to ask today is how is it that the club has become so bankrupt?

I've not seen any accounts for the club, and would love to see some if anyone wants to send them to me.

During the short time that the Gokceks were in control the club spent up big. Plenty of times the club seemed to have difficulty in paying its debts but then again, every now and then they paid off big sums owed to players, or hotels or bus leasing companies. Nary a month passed without an "Ankaragucu unable to pay debts" story not being printed.

There is the question though of where did the money come from to pay off some of these debts? It can't have come from the Ankara Municipality, that would be illegal. Could it possibly, maybe, certainly not being suggested by us, have come from companies that have benefitted from contracts awarded to them from the municipality?

So where did it come from? Some sort of fairy godmother?

And then when the courts took the club off the Gokceks, the club suddenly found that it was in debt to the tune of nearly 100 million lira and all of these fairy godmothers who had saved the club in the past had disappeared. How is it that a club could run with massive debts, but still somehow manage to pay some of them, and then suddenly collapse overnight, as soon as the Gokceks lost control?

Who pulled out? Who stopped giving cash to the club? Why were they giving cash to the club in the first place?

We don't know.

Where is the TFF inquiry into the matter? A bit of transparency would go a long way to solve the problems of Turkish football. Boy, and I haven't even mentioned match-fixing.

If you are reading this and find that it is a load of uninformed rubbish then I encourage you to write in and inform us, because as hard as I try, I have found it extremely difficult to figure out anything and that in itself is a disgrace.