Erdal Torunoğulları elaborates on transfer policies

Updated: January 3, 2016

Beşiktaş board member Erdal Torunoğulları, who handles the club’s foreign transfer policies, gave a very revealing interview to Turkish newspaper Sabah today. He touches on several subjects which have been on the minds of many.

“Did you loan Gómez or did you sign him permanently?”

“We bought Gómez on a permanent basis, he is transferred with a 2+1 contract. There is only one place he can go at the end of the season and that is Fiorentina. The clausule we have in the deal with Gómez is that he can return to Fiorentina if he is unhappy at Beşiktaş. The only difficulties with Gómez were that the terrorist incidents in Turkey over the last period have effected his family and his father was very uncomfortable with this. I don’t think I have given a wrong direction about this. I said ‘this has been around for the past 30 years, it isn’t going to end tomorrow’. When he saw our persistance he decided to come. He is very happy here. He wouldn’t return to Fiorentina anyway. If he would return to Fiorentina and then would go to another club, we would get 50%. Every other team besides Fiorentina would have to come to our door though.”

“How did you manage to bring the fee of € 9 million down to zero?”

“If he would have stayed at Fiorentina, this would’ve given them € 22 million costs for a 2 year contract. If he wouldn’t have played and just would have sat down, he would have got to put € 11 million of that in his own pocket, because there are 100% taxes in Italy. We prepared well when we went there and we have saved Fiorentina from € 22 million on costs. You have to let them feel what amount you will or will not pay. We let them feel that we can’t pay that amount of money, because of the criteria of the UEFA. We told them ‘You also have some difficulties. His costs are too high for you. We will work on helping you keep more money in your pockets, but don’t have any expectations besides that’. If it wouldn’t have worked out, we would have gone for other alternatives, but Gómez’ attitude made our work a lot easier.”

“Gómez was earning € 5,5 million annually at Fiorentina, how much does he cost Besiktas?”

“He is earning € 3,5 million this year, but we are going to talk about his fee at the end of the season and make a different set-up. He didn’t choose for money, he chose playing time and to be happy. People ask me how I brought the transfer fee of € 9 million down to zero a lot. If they give me authority, I can do it for them too. I mean it, I can get whoever they want. For example, if I look into your eyes right now and can make you believe this, then it’s done. You don’t get a chance to object. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t then it doesn’t.”

“Robin van Persie was in your plans before Gómez, why did you give up on him?”

“We had agreed with Van Persie and Manchester United. We weren’t going to pay a transfer fee. However, then Fenerbahçe came along and Manchester United told us ‘they are offering us € 6,5 million’. Van Persie is a very good player and has a good personality. He told us ‘I’m going to wait until Friday, I’m still behind my word’. We discussed the situation with the president and the board. ‘We are in the same situation we were before. We aren’t offering you € 6,5 million. Lots of luck to the one who does offer that.’, is what we told Manchester United.”

“How does your transfer process work?”

“Firstly, our scouts recommend us a player. Before we watch a player live, we get a report on things like his fee and personality. After watching him, we talk to our coach. I think we are being revolutionary. If you say to a manager ‘we need this kind of player’, you hand all responsibility to him and can’t calculate the costs on your own anymore. I have changed this. If a player meets the UEFA criteria, I call him directly. I don’t talk about money, I just ask him ‘we are interested in your services, do you want to play for Beşiktaş?’. If he says yes, I talk with his representative about the costs. To not to lose time, I try to arange everything directly. There was this perception in Europe that you can get all the money you want from the ‘Big 3’ because they spend a lot, but we are trying to break that image. Even if we would have that kind of money, we wouldn’t offer it. Everything has its limits. We rammed this in the head of clubs in Europe and Brazil. Beşiktaş doesn’t have the money to spend everything very easily. We can do a wrong transfer, but I don’t think we can spend a wrong amount.”

“It was reported that you had agreed with Diego, but then he went to Fenerbahçe. What happened?”

“I was a guest at Diego’s house twice. He is a gentleman. We had reached an agreement in principle with him, but he became Fenerbahçe’s player after that. Our offer was clear because of financial criteria. We were offering him € 10,5 million in total for 3 years. I talked with him and he said Fenerbahçe had done him a better offer. I told him we wouldn’t improve our offer. I asked him about their offer and he told it… ‘I would’ve gone to Fenerbahçe as well if I were you’ is what I said to him.”

“How are the mid-season transfers going?”

“It is very risky to buy a player in the mid-season transfer window. We are working on three different positions. There will be progress between the 10th and 16th of January. Ospina is impossible to get mid-season, it might have been possible at the end of the season. We don’t have any problems with Douglas and Boyko’s wage demands, but we are still negotiating with Dnipro about their transfer fee. I met with Marseille and Mandanda as well. He has only 6 months remaining on his contract and he told me he wants to come, but we are having some difficulties with his club. If we can overcome this, we have a choice between two names. We might buy someone for the midfield as well.”

“What would you like to say about Demba Ba’s transfer to China?”

“Demba Ba was a big player. The offer he got was € 7 million annually for 3 years, € 21 million in total. That’s almost double from what he would earn with us. The Great Wall of China wouldn’t have stayed up with such an offer. If he would have stayed, he wouldn’t have been at peace anyway and we wouldn’t have gotten the performance we wanted from him. We thought about the benefit of the club and gave him permission to leave.”

“Others don’t get criticized as much as Tolga”

“I feel sorry for Tolga. The fans are criticizing him so intensively. I think he has done a great job this season except for 2 games. Other goalkeepers make the same mistakes as Tolga but they don’t get criticized this much. A goalkeeper has enough credit to make this number of mistakes.”

“The value of our talented players lies close to € 100 million”

“Nine of our players are being followed by European clubs, but because we have big goals we aren’t thinking about selling them. The value of our talented players has now come close to € 100 million. The current board has accomplished this.”

“We almost lost Atiba”

“I’ve said this before, every home and every team needs an Atiba. I respect his efforts a lot. We were almost bringing in another player in his place, we were almost losing him. I want to thank Gökhan Keskin a lot, he is the one who made us give up on that idea.”

Source: Sabah


Yusuf Paklaci

Editor at Beşiktaş International
Living in the province of Utrecht, The Netherlands, where I was born and raised. Student Fiscal Economics at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Have been a Beşiktaş fan for many years. Editor at Beşiktaş International since 2015.
Yusuf Paklaci