From UCL to Turkey’s fourth tier. Buraspor losing the battle to get on top of its £43.3m debt mountain

May 9 – Bursaspor, one Turkey’s biggest clubs, but currently languishing at the bottom of the Super Liga’s third tier and set to be relegated to the fourth, has announced debts of TL1.5 billion (€43.3 million).

It has been a rapid fall for the Turkish side that plays in one of the most modern stadiums in Turkey, won the Super Lig in 2009/10, played in the Champions League the group stages the following season, and in subsequent season were regular participants in the Europa League.

Bursaspor’s huge liabilities were announced after a meeting of the club’s Board of Directors, which was also attended by Bursa Mayor Mustafa Bozbey and former Bursaspor president Erkan Kamat.

“We expect support from all segments of society for Bursaspor. We are faced with the fact that our club, which is the flag team of our country in the Champions League, will compete in the 3rd League (last professional tier in Turkey). With a debt of nearly 1.5 billion liras, we are at the top with almost no income,” said Galip Sakder,  chairman of the Board of Directors.

“We are obliged to ask for sacrifice from all debt holders, especially the former administrators, in order to get through these difficult days in which we feel the financial impossibility. The management’s burden is heavy; we have a heavier balance sheet than is known for the transfer board. We are in a period where players who have not even played 5-6 matches in Bursaspor are demanding serious money. We must create a Bursa model in which mistakes and reckless moves in transfers will not go unrequited. We will raise the city’s team together with the city’s unions, no one should doubt that,” he added.

The Mayor of Bursa Mustafa Bozbey said: “We saw that what was done was wrong, we need to revive Bursaspor with a new, different setup. The business world is a bit distant and distrustful, and a system that will gain their trust must be established.

“Today, we need to talk about what kind of system we should proceed with. Again, if it continues without a system, the probability of success is low, no matter who comes. We need to agree on a system. The board can be opened, but only if it is sustainable. We need to reset yesterday, we are ready to do our part. Believe me, when we raise Bursaspor to its feet, Bursa will also stand up. I suggest we open the system discussion, decide how we will proceed, and move forward.”

Contact the writer of this story, Aleksander Krassimirov, at moc.l1716575187labto1716575187ofdlr1716575187owedi1716575187sni@o1716575187fni1716575187