Imago

Galatasaray feel the pinch

Galatasaray players boycott training
By Reuters

08/02/2006 at 16:09Updated

Galatasaray players boycotted training on Wednesday after two of the club's foreign stars had received their salaries, media reports said. The players met at the club's training ground and decided to stay away from the morning session after not being paid for four months, reports said.

The players reportedly joined training later in the day. An official at the training ground said the club was planning to make a statement on the issue in due course.

"I don't think they (the players) are in the wrong. But we in the management are doing what is necessary. We are trying to find the money," Deputy Chairman Ergun Gursoy said on the state-run Anatolian news agency.

Plans for a boycott first emerged in media reports in late December after the club failed to honour a pledge to make the wage payments.

The planned protest failed to materialise at the club's January training camp.

PLAYERS UPSET

Newspapers and websites quoted Galatasaray striker Necati Ates as saying the Turkish players had been upset at reports that Croatian defender Stjepan Tomas and Serbian midfielder Sasa Ilic had been paid.

"That's the way things are in Turkey. Foreign players are always made the priority on this issue. Why do they get paid before us? Don't we do the same job?" the CNN Turk website quoted Necati as saying.

Galatasaray decided at a general meeting at the end of last year to put on hold the chairman's plan to sell land belonging to the club in Istanbul to raise funds.

The former UEFA Cup winners play at a run-down stadium in the city and the chairman has faced criticism from within the club for failing to modernise it or push through plans for a new stadium.

Galatasaray are currently second in the Turkish first division on 45 points, four points behind their Istanbul rivals Fenerbahce.

Turkish Super League