Is Galatasaray in financial trouble? The front office of the team insists no, but the Turkish media and it seems surrounding facts say yes. It seems ever more apparent that the financial situation in European Basketball is not only significant for smaller outfits; there are now several European powerhouses stuck in the financial mire. Zalgiris Kaunas and Asseco Prokom Gdynia are obvious examples, and now we can probably add Galatasaray to the list.
Picking apart the issue to get to the truth is difficult in this situation because Galatasaray as a business refuses to admit there is a problem. However, when WNBA star Lindsay Whalen left the women’s team recently, she remarked on Twitter:
“Thank you to my teammates and coaches for everything during my time with Galatasaray! Unfortunately because the terms of my contract were not met I felt it was in my best interest to not continue with the organization. Thank you to the fans of Galatasaray!! Your support of the team and players is amazing!”
So if the team is not in financial trouble, why does it owe one of its star player’s money? A break in the chain is the answer according to Galatasaray, at least that is what coach Ergin Ataman is saying. He released a statement that managed to boast about the clubs riches but also confirmed it owes its players months in back pay.
“Big crisis at Galatasaray? No way. The only problem is cash flow, apart from that…Nothing. If Galatasaray is in a financial crisis how did the team pay 400k to Cantu for Manuchar Markoishvili? Panathinaikos, Olympiakos and in Turkey, Fenerbahce and Besiktas had financial problems before. We have a 12 million dollar budget. Players know one day they’ll get paid. No one’s money remains in Galatasaray’s safe. Galatasaray has one of the biggest budgets in Europe, maybe in top 10. The boardroom is paying players’ money now but that payment is kind of a deferred payment”.
The current crisis does not just affect the women’s team, the men are also involved, and in fact Galatasaray players such as Milan Macvan and Boniface Ndong are talking about leaving the club if they are not paid what is owed. It seems a little strange that the club is boasting about having a lot of money, but seems unwilling or unable to pay its players.
The question now remains, will Galatasaray make good on those boasts and pay the 3 million Euros it owes to players before the February 22nd deadline?
classic style of coach ataman. every club he works spends money over the budget