Fenerbahçe President Ali Koç’s Statements at the High Council Board

15 May 2020 Friday 18:57

Fenerbahçe President Ali Koç made a series of statements at the High Council Board Ordinary Meeting, held online for the first time due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The highlights of our club president Ali Koç's statements can be seen below:

*Of course, there are many topics on the agenda. Let's start with one of these, men's basketball. Our coach Obradovic. What will happen next season? This is, of course, one of the items on the agenda discussed recently. Of course, I want to clarify this issue.

* As I stated to him (Obradovic), in accordance with the unique happiness and victories he has given us, regardless of how the season continues, the direction was that both our technical staff and our team had unlimited loans by care of us and our community. As he has stated to the public several times, our coach is a living Fenerbahçe legend and this is his home as long as he wants to stay at Fenerbahçe. There was no change in this opinion of mine. During the season, these thoughts were conveyed to him by both Semih Özsoy and myself. Although we expressed our intention to extend the contract several times during the season, our coach has stated that it would be more appropriate to evaluate this at the end of the season due to current events. The Turkish League was canceled. As Cenk Renda pointed out, decisions regarding the Euroleague tournament will be taken at the EuroLeague meeting on the 25 May. I don't know exactly what will come out, but at least I don't think it can be played in the summer. Therefore, we will consult with our coach in the coming days. As long as he wants to stay with us, this is his home.

* Let's go back to football. We are making plans for next year. The delay process also gave us more time to make these plans. I want to clarify a few issues. We had previously worked on the issue of the manager before the period of delay. We were holding meetings with 3-4 managers. Although we had almost agreed terms with one, unfortunately our work was also interrupted with the EURO 2020 being moved to 2021. We are currently meeting with three different coaches, domestic and foreign. We are looking at different attributes. It is not possible to find all the attributes we have in our mind in one coach. We are looking for a manager who is young, hungry, hard-working, disciplined, professional, knows Turkey well or will not have issues working in this region, quick to adapt, between 40-50 years of age, suitable to our economic resources which have come into trouble recently; someone with an understanding of many aspects of the game to provide competition within the team, who can try many different tactics, is brave enough to play young people more and adapt them better, and create the necessary competition within the team. One of the priorities was that they could arrive before the season ended. Of course, this does not apply to everyone, but our negotiations continue. It may be a name you know, a name you do not know, but we are in no hurry. I wish to emphasise this. Just as we will save this season, we do not want to lose next season. That's why our work here continues. I would like to inform the fans about our whole set up by making a statement to the Fenerbahçe community after the holiday. Likewise, our transfer work is ongoing. Our area to maneuver is narrow due to the Financial Fair Play. What I mean is you can buy as much as you sell. Therefore, out-of-contract and loan players come to the fore. We focus more on the domestic market. We are postponing foreign players to some extent. The transfer window that FIFA will implement will be different due to the virus. I suppose there will be a transfer window until the end of October, starting in August. There has been the cancellation of some leagues, economic troubles caused by the virus in the foreign market... So we are now focused on locals.

* After the pandemic, clubs face big difficulties to continue their activities. We have to shift to the youth teams, by preference or necessity. We have given importance to the youth teams since we arrived, but it takes time for my seeds to bear fruit and it will bear fruit. As Fenerbahçe Sports Club, we make the following call. An orientation towards and investment in youth teams should be encouraged. We always talk about the number of foreigners. Honestly, I do not know the correct number. The quality, salaries, and contracts of foreign players are more important than the number. Our suggestion is this. To focus on youth team investments in order to encourage the necessary and correct transformation, our federation should, in terms of fair play, say to clubs 'You have to play at least two players from the youth teams in the first 11. Then it can go up to 3.’ Not that we should make the foreigner limit like this or that. Let's adopt this rule. Let's speed things up and encourage transformation.

* At the meetings of the Executive Board of the European Clubs Association, I can see how they are comparing many models in terms of the economy and health, planning according to many scenarios, and meeting with all stakeholders, and UEFA makes decisions by taking the opinions of all stakeholders. For example, footballers are among the stakeholders in Turkey. Football players should also speak during this process, and they should be asked.

* We said something unique to ourselves. We don't want this work to come to an end. If leagues are to be played, they must be played on the same calendar. The Turkish Cup should be played in the original plan and calendar, too. Please don't insist on a different scenario for us. We would like to state that we are against this.