|No longer to be handed out to players at half time.|
It has taken a long time but there is news today that a sponsor has pulled out of Turkish football because of the crap atmosphere at Turkish Super Lig matches... and we all know what is responsible for that...
According to a story in HaberTurk today, Murat Ülker, Turkey's richest man according to Forbes magazine, has said his companies will stop sponsoring football. Speaking to HaberTurk, Ülker had two main complaints; that the atmosphere at Turkish football matches is nothing like that in Europe and that the new rules concerning the number of foreign players will hurt Turkish footballers.
"You cannot but be jealous when you see the crowds in England and Germany," Ülker said. "I'm sad for the country... Last time I went to a match in England. The atmosphere was incredibally great. I had a great time. Unfortunately, we do not see this here."
Ülker said that it was normal for fans to be angry at having to wait in queues for hours to get tickets and that the football system needed to be more welcoming.
On the Passolig system, he suggests that changes should have been made.
"When bringing in the Passolig system we could have been more flexible. No one wants to give their personal information, even by the state. It's uncomfortable," he said and I struggled to translate.
Ülker went on to attack the new foreign player system that will allow clubs to possibly field not a single Turkish national in their starting line-up.
"This is illogical. At that time what are Turkish kids going to do?"
According to HaberTurk, Ülker's Yildız Holding and the Ülker brand gives about 60 million lira to sport each year. They sponsor the TFF, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. They are also the main sponsors for the basketball team Ülker Fenerbahce.
I have no idea whether this action will make any difference. I'm fairly pessimistic about most things nowadays. BUT....
Ülker is a company that has always been close to political Islam and to President Erdogan in particular.
Which means he isn't doing it for political reasons, to spite the government. He is doing it because he genuinely likes football and believes that it is going to pot here in Turkey. The question is whether any other companies will also pull the plug?