Top Turkish soccer club Galatasaray secures debt rescue deal

Soccer Breaking News EDITOR’S PICKS Turkey
Top Turkish soccer club Galatasaray secures debt rescue deal 1

Turkish Super League soccer champions Galatasaray secured an agreement with three local banks to restructure its debts.

The five-year deal signed with Ziraat Bank, Denizbank and Aktif Bank includes a two-year waiver on repayment of capital, Galatasaray, which won the Europa League in 2000 and Turkey’s domestic league 22 times, said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange late on Monday.

Turkish soccer clubs are among the worst hit from a currency crisis that struck the economy last summer. The turmoil increased the cost of foreign currency-denominated loans and of players’ wages, which are often paid in euros or other foreign currency.

Turkey’s soccer federation signed an agreement with the country’s banking association in June to help clubs repay some 8 billion liras ($1.4 billion) in debts. Galatasaray did not say how much money it owed.

Fenerbahçe, another of Turkey’s top clubs, expects to reach an agreement on its debts with the banking association within 10 days, club chairman Ali Koç said last week.

Fenerbahçe has won the Turkish Super League 19 times. It reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2008, when it was eliminated by Chelsea.

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