Turkish football economy reaches TRY 3.2B
During the 2017-2018 season, the Turkish football (soccer) economy experienced 40 percent growth with a total volume of TRY 3.2 billion ($600 million) compared to the previous year, according to research conducted by Aktifbank.
Still, a lack of transparency dogs the soccer industry in Turkey, based on a review of the Ekolig report, published last week.
There are currently only four clubs (Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Besiktas and Trabzonspor) that have public companies listed on Borsa Istanbul and those companies have only been established to register revenues so clubs can borrow more easily from financial institutions. Other clubs have less available data to track revenues and expenditures. However, the Passolig system that tracks individual supporter data for security and financial reasons, does allow a limited amount of data to monitor them. It should be noted that only 10 out of 18 clubs in the Turkish Super Lig provided financial information for the Ekolig report.
3 p llars of football economy
The football economy relies on three pillars for revenues: Matchday revenues (sales of tickets), commercial revenues (sponsorship and advertisements), and live broadcast revenues. Turkey’s Super Lig revenues have increased on a TRY basis but remain flat, or in some cases have decreased, in euro terms. In 2015-16, revenues were TRY 2 billion, TRY 2.3 billion in 2016-17 and TRY 3.2 billion in 2017-18.
In parallel to revenues, the average number of fan attendance has also increased from 6,297 in 201516 to 12,821 in 2017-18 and is expected to be around 14,000 this year (2018-19), the Ekolig report said. A total of 3.9 million fans attended games, it added.
Besiktas hosted an average fans of
30,000 last year in its new stadium. Galatasaray, meanwhile, is enjoying an average attendance rate of 40,000 fans in its stadium this year.
One of the reasons behind rising attendance has been newly-built stadiums with comfort and technological features. However, Turkey is well below the average of European countries.
Istanbul versus Anatol a
There is also a gap between the revenues of the ‘big three’ Istanbul clubs (Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Besiktas) and Anatolian clubs. The big three earned a total of TRY 316.2 million from match-day revenues while the remaining 15 clubs had a total of TRY 80.1 million over the 2017-18 season.
When Trabzonspor is included, the average ticket price of the ‘big four’ Turkish clubs was TRY 109.50 while the rest had a mere TRY 35.60 average. Galatasaray earned an average of TRY 161.90 from each ticket last season. On the bottom of the list, Sivasspor only earned an average of TRY 17.00 from a ticket. The average price for Super Lig teams was TRY 69.80.
The Turkish league has the 6th largest broadcast revenue in Europe.
The ‘big five’ leagues had a total of 6 billion euros in revenues. La Liga alone raked in 1.7 billion euros, with the El Classico alone drawing 450 million euros.
The Turkish derby, between Fenerbahce and Galatasaray, is El Classico’s Turkey equivalent.
Fenerbahce earned TRY 116.6 million from commercial revenues in the 2016-17 season and Galatasaray raised the bar to TRY 169 million in 2017-18.
Live broadcasts are the most consistent revenue stream Turkish clubs receive. In 1996-97 season, the total income from broadcasts were TRY 40 million, increasing to TRY 500 million last season.
Commerc al revenues
Another popular match is between Fenerbahce and Besiktas. These two of the ‘big three’ also compete in commercial revenues. Fenerbahce received TRY 208 million in sponsorship revenues in the 2016-17 season, compared to Besiktas’ TRY 279 million last season. Similarly, Fenerbahce sold a total of TRY 254 million in licensed products while Besiktas made TRY 279 million from jerseys.
Turkish teams increased their commercial revenues to TRY 1.1 billion in 2017-18 season from TRY 900 million in 2016-17. The revenue share of the ‘big four’ was TRY 831.2 million in the 2017-18 season, a 28 percent increase from the previous season.
Besiktas is the champion in terms of commercial revenues with a total of TRY 478.6 million over last two seasons. Fenerbahce followed with TRY 462.4 million, Galatasaray with TRY 392.9 million and Trabzonspor with TRY 144.8 million.
The B g Four effect
The total revenues of big four clubs has also risen sharply from TRY 1.4 billion to TRY 1.9 billion over the last two seasons. Besiktas had a TRY 700 million share while Galatasaray and Fenerbahce each took TRY 500 million with Trabzon drawing a respectable TRY 200 million. The big boost for Besiktas came from Champions League revenues.
There are 3.9 million Passolig card holders in Turkey, registered fans that are eligible to buy tickets and watch games. Fenerbahce sold a total of 297,270 tickets last season.
As in Europe and much of the world, football is the most popular sport in Turkey. Only the North American-based NFL (National Football League), NBA (National Basketball Association) and NHL (National Hockey League) challenge the crown of soccer.
The global football economy is led by the ‘big five’ - La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy), Ligue 1 (Spain), and the crown jewel Premier League (UK).
The ‘big five’ premier football economies on the European continent are followed by the U.S. and Latin America. The U.S. is becoming an emerging power in the sport with five clubs in the top 30 wealthiest clubs around the world.