A Turkish club, Gulspor which is based in the city of Isparta and one of the oldest clubs in Turkey as it was founded in 1954, have sold 18 youth players whose sales money they used in buying 10 goats in a bid to earn ‘extra money from milk sales’ which will be used to serve the club’s priority needs.
Kenan Buyuklebleb, the Turkish club President, stated that the decision to buy goats was caused by lack of available finance as there is no essential governmental or sponsorship investment for Turkish youth teams performing in lower leagues.
The club earned 15,000 Turkish lira (almost $2,600) after selling 18 youth players and plans to have around 5,000 lira ($863) profit from milk sales to cover the club’s expenses. Gulspor, based in southern city Isparta, plan to sell the goats’ milk and meat – and increase their flock to 140 by 2024.
“We must have a constant income,” Buyuklebleb told CNN Turkey. “Funds are overloaded because there is no government or corporate group support for our clubs. We need to get more investment for the kids (competing for the club).”
“We got 10 goats. It will be a source of income for the youngsters,” Buyuklebleb said, adding that he acted in the interests of the team. “We think that breeding goats is profitable. We have bought them to raise better young players.”
“We expect to have 4,000-5,000 lira profit. At the same time, the number of goats will increase. At the end of six years, we are planning to have 140 goats for the club,” he added.
Turkey’s first football league was established as the Istanbul Football League in 1904 by James Fontaine. The league ran until 1959, when it was replaced by the Turkish Super League. Football leagues were found especially in Ankara, İzmir, Adana, Eskişehir, Tokat, and Trabzon. Before the introduction of the professional nationwide league (later to be known as the Süper Lig), there were two top-level national championships: the Turkish Football Championship and the National Division. Fenerbahçe dominated Turkish football in those decades, having won three Turkish Championship titles and six National Division titles, both of them records. They were replaced by the Süper Lig in 1959.