Everyone loves the story of an underdog in football. One of the most difficult tournaments to achieve was the Turkish Super League. However, times are changing. Istanbul Basaksehir won the 2019-20 season to disrupt the dominance of the “Big Three”.
Besiktas regained the league title the following season, but the trend did not last. Trabzonspor was crowned champion after 38 years, sparking wild celebrations.
Meanwhile, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas are trailing by 62 points. The breakdown was stark and completely unpredictable. Moreover, the issue of growing debt combined with the strengthening of the two opponents had a fundamental role.
Therefore, it would not be any surprise if there are new heroes in the coming years.
2021-22 is really awful
None of the three teams are enjoying the 2021-22 season. Galatasaray and its 22 titles are out of European competition. They are currently 30 points behind Trabzonspor and are guaranteed to finish with the lowest number in their history.
They employed over 30 players across the entire campaign, with over 100 lineup changes. On top of that, things weren’t going well off the field either.
🟠 For the first time since March 2022, Galatasaray lost after scoring the opening goal in the Turkish Super League. 😱
Learn more about this and watch #Highlights here ⤵️https://t.co/oMZ152blRL
– beIN SPORTS USA (beINSPORTSUSA) May 1, 2022
Neither their boss nor their manager, who started the season, is still at the club. Galatasaray has lost 14 matches so far, which is the sixth worst match in the league. Furthermore, the administration has been criticized by its supporters on several occasions.
The supposed transfer of Jason Fernandez, he only joined Besiktas. The sacking of legendary manager Fatih Terim didn’t help matters either.
Galatasaray fans didn’t mess around with Gidson Fernandez’s return to the NEF Stadium 😳🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/8MZXr95hoe
Footygazzetta (@footygazzetta) April 11, 2022
Their great rivals, Besiktas, took the league title on goal difference in 2021. They performed slightly better by 23 points than Trabzonspor after 35 matches. Besiktas has changed coach twice, with current Valerin Ismail joining in March 2022. The team was unable to move forward at all due to the failure of the strikers.
The Turkish club “Big Three” (Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Besiktas) did not occupy the eleventh place in the Premier League.
Galatasaray could fall into the relegation zone with a loss in its next match against Alanyaspor.
Most disastrous seasons across Europe? pic.twitter.com/No6Rwg2tlu
– 365 matches (@Matchday365) January 27 2022
Kyle Larrain, who scored 23 goals in 2020-21, has scored just seven goals so far. The departure of Vincent Abubakar also affected them severely, with substitute Michy Batshuayi suffering. They have the chance to sneak into European places, but it won’t be easy. However, the silver champion was to win the Turkish Super Cup.
Congratulations to Michy Batshuayi who won the Turkish Super Cup with Besiktas yesterday. 🎉🏆
They won a penalty shootout, Michi scored a penalty kick. ✅
master it, Tweet embed. 👏🏻💙 pic.twitter.com/o6fYe3XeF2
Chelsea Loan Army (@ChelseaLoanArmy) January 6 2022
Fenerbahce was the closest competitor to Trabzonspor, despite the generosity of “proximity”. They are nine points behind with Mesut Ozil and Ozan Tofan being sent off recently as another addition to a dismal season. Needless to say, they also changed their manager in 2022. Fenerbahce was Turkey’s last hope in Europe, but they faltered miserably.
Fenerbahce has suspended midfielders Mesut Ozil and Ozan Tofan until the end of the season, due to a dispute with the club’s interim manager. pic.twitter.com/bGzhxKX8oH
– Transfer Central News (TransferNewsCen) March 24, 2022
Having finished third in their group in the European League, they were eliminated in the first round of the European League. However, they will take some solace from the fact that they will be in Europe next season as well. In addition to the fact that their top competitors perform even more frighteningly.
Higher costs and lower financial resources
There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on revenue streams. The Turkish Super League felt a great crisis. The Big Three and Trabzonspor have accumulated a combined debt of about $2 billion.
Moreover, the low exchange rate between the dollar and the lira caused more problems. As a result, debts rose at an astronomical rate of nearly 600%.
However, Fenerbahce, Besiktas and Galatasaray are long ahead of Trabzonspor. This kind of cash shortfall means that these clubs have had spending restrictions as of late. Money from European competitions has dried up as well as the Big Three struggle to stay among the elite.
Read also: Besiktas could certainly have done it with the services of former player and great Spaniard Guti
Therefore, clubs can only bring in a token number of highly rated players. Trabzonspor was also helped because its debts were the lowest, which allowed it to work a little more freely.
The time of the weak
Whenever there is talk of the demise of VIPs, there must be appreciation for the team(s) who usurp them. Trabzonspor has Lowest operating return between the four sides. However, they managed to find some gems.
Andreas Cornelius, the attacking striker, is the top scorer with 15 goals so far. Veteran winger Anthony Noakeme joined in 2018 from Hapoel Beersheba. He’s hit over 20 goal contributions for the first time since his first campaign.
Nigerian winger Anthony Nwakimi played a key role in helping Trabzonspor win its first Turkish Super League title in 38 years.
He scored 11 goals and assisted 10 in 27 league matches this season.
The fans took over the entire stadium with excitement after winning the league. pic.twitter.com/9kui8CWbGr
– Africa FactsZone May 2, 2022
The capture of Edin Fiska from rival Basaksehir was another great blow in January. They have a very experienced local manager in Abdullah Afshi, who has been a master of shifts in the past. Furthermore, the acquisition of Marek Hamsik on a free transfer was another major blow to his leadership qualities and European history.
🏆 2021-2022 Süper Lig Champion TRABZONSPOR! ❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/knFOYDMiYR
Trabzonspor Club (Trabzonspor_EN_) April 30, 2022
Trabzonspor has managed to defy the odds and has a great chance of beating the Champions League in 2022-23.
In Turkish football, you will never feel secure in any position lately. Yesterday’s heroes can quickly become the middle of tomorrow. There is no doubt that the traditional Big Three will be hurt by indifference in 2021-22. However, the future is bleak for all the top teams. There are teething problems that one season will not hide but can be highlighted.