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Monday, 26 September 2011

Fenerbahce to play for honour

Vice Chairman of Fenerbahce, Nihat Ozdemir has called on Fenerbahce to play for honour this season following the match fixing scandal that has rocked Turkish football of late.

Ozdemir said: “We had to part ways with some players but we signed some important players as good as them. With this renewed squad, Fenerbahce will continue to be the main title contender. But actually, we are not only playing for the title, but also playing for honour.”

Speaking during a general assembly to inform club members what the board has done since the allegations, Ozdemir also said: “The club was hit both financially and morally with the exclusion from the Champions League. Furthermore, the club was damaged by the fact that the investigation has hurt the club’s value on the Istanbul bourse. In total, we lost an income of around 35 to 40 million euros.”

Fenerbahce had originally asked to be relegated to a lower league so that the club could rebuild and not lose two seasons instead of one. The Turkish Football Federation has made a decision to announce findings from the case at the end of the current season, meaning that Fenerbahce could still be relegated for next year, thus costing the club two years. Ozdemir said: “When we applied for demotion, they said we could only be relegated if we presented a formal request that accepted that the club was involved in match fixing and would not seek compensation if the court decides in favour of the club in the future. We told them that it was not possible.”

Finally Ozdemir praised coach Aykut Kocaman for his work with Fenerbahce, saying: “Our league title is a well-deserved one. We have to thank coach Aykut Kocaman and our players. But especially Kocaman’s efforts are beyond words.”

Currently the Fenerbahce Chairman Aziz Yildirim is in prison awaiting results from the trial in to the match fixing in Turkey. Should Fenerbahce ultimately be found guilty, the club stand to lose millions in lost revenue and will be forced to sell players and could be relegated to a lower league. The Turkish Football Federation has promised to clean up football in Turkey for good; the results will be eagerly awaited and could be monumental for the future of Fenerbahce Football Club.

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