Away game – the SPOX column: The insane story of the 2020/21 Süper Lig season

Turkey has left the craziest season in history. With 32 coach changes, a master no one expected, a coach who wanted to call his wife to borrow money, and a president who loves to play Counter Strike. This is the 2020/21 Süper Lig story.

Where do you start to tell? Which episode would be the ideal start for this unbelievable season in the Turkish Süper Lig? Should you start at Erzurumspor? The club that employed six different coaches? There, where coach Ismail Kartal noticed after six days that he actually had no desire for the club and resigned without having stood on the sidelines once.

Perhaps the story of his successor would also be an ideal start: Erzurumspor was Yilmaz Vural’s 30th coaching station and he even started with three wins. During the away game against Fenerbahce, striker Ricardo Gomes refused to come on, which made Vural angry: “I would have beaten him in the past, but you can’t do that nowadays.” Vural, who actually beat a player once because he didn’t like the performance, left. Erzurum dismounted.

Perhaps one could also tell the story of Marius Sumudica. How a trainer manages to work successfully and still get fired for not being able to shut up. Sumudica was working for Gaziantep FK in its second season. He was popular with fans and the media for his funny manner and the club board also liked him because he was quite successful despite many sayings.

But Sumudica wanted a better contract, he wanted to make more money. But because the board of directors disagreed and was even considering a salary cut because of the corona pandemic, Sumudica’s collar fell apart: “I took the offer as an insult. Now I’ll call my wife so that she can send me money and I’ll send the club can provide financial help. “

Karagümrük: No training ground, no stadium

Karagümrük has only had one change of coach, which is impressive by Turkish standards. Karagümrük is located in the heart of Istanbul and is generally regarded as a problem area in the city, where the police have to stop by every now and then to ensure law and order.

But the reputation is probably worse than the reality. The Karagümruker are proud of their closeness to the quarter and of the great solidarity that prevails here. Actually the perfect omens for a football club, but Karagümrük has two problems: The club has no training ground and no stadium.

The former infrastructure was not enough to compete as a professional team in the Süper Lig. But because the ascent was still successful, there was no other way. The team trains on a side square of the Istanbul Olympic Stadium. But since other sports clubs also train here, you have to get hold of the reservation early. There are no lines and circles on a soccer field. The players have to think about it.

Karagümrük played the home games in more than 15 different stadiums. Nobody should really be told that in Karagümrük, with Lucas Biglia, Fabio Borini or Emiliano Viviano, former Serie A stars are on the road. You brought Karagümrük to eighth place, but that’s not enough for the club. President and owner Süleyman Hurma says: “I want to become a champion one day.”

Yes, the story of Karagümrük is a good introduction or even the main part of the story of the past Süper Lig season. But there is still better way. Let’s stay in Istanbul, a few kilometers away, at the Galatasaray stop. Anyone who has heard all the stories about the Turkish record champions in recent months wonders how it can be that Galatasaray missed the championship in the end only because of two too few goals.

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