Beşiktaş to implement a Borussia Dortmund influenced model
The newly appointed Beşiktaş Football Development Coordinator Ibrahim Altınsay has unveiled his grand plans of implementing a Borussia Dortmund inspired system.
Altınsay's first words to the media following taking charge of his new role was, "We will become a role model club". The Black Eagles are starting to face the reality of years of overspending and unsustainable growth. The club is estimated to be in debt to tune €80-€100 million, a problem chairman Fikret Orman has made his priority to sort out.
The Black Eagles will have to change their transfer approach and Altınsay has made it his priority to make better use of the Beşiktaş youth system. The club actually has a network of 65 football academies in every region of the country as well as Germany, England, Holland and as far afield as Nigeria.
In fact Beşiktaş has consistently produced some of Turkish football brightest talents since the 90's with the likes of Sergen Yalçın and Nihat Kahveci. More recently the number of highly rated talents being produced has reached new heights with the likes of Batuhan Karadeniz, Necip Uysal and of course 17 year old wonder kid Muhammed Demirci who has even attracted the interest of Barcelona. Then there are the next generation of player's yet to be used such as 18 year old, 1.96m defender Atınç Nukan, Villareal target 17 year old Erkut Şentürk and 18 year old Cumali Bişi.
Despite nurturing countless potential talents the Black Eagles have failed to utilize their academy players at senior level. The club have instead opted to sideline the their young hopefulls for expensive transfers who have yet to bring the club any meaningful success. Altınsay is in the process of improving the current setup and investing in increasing the number and level of coaching staff in order to help develop these future stars in the making.
The second part of Altınsay's proposed radical changes is a transfer policy which intelligently scouts new, young, cheap talent with the aim of training and selling them on for a profit. Critics of this kind of model point to it being a model for growth and sustainability however, unrealistic for a club aiming for success. Altınsay has pointed to the achievements of Borussia Dortmund as an example of a team which makes great use of their academy players. Dortmund have been signing relatively unheard of players like Shinji Kagawa on the cheap, selling young talents like Nuri Şahin for a profit and have still been able to win the Bundesliga title back to back and qualify for the Champions League two years running. Take into consideration that Dortmund were also facing a crisis due to mis-management, a near economic meltdown and €120 million of debt during the mid-2000's.
Beşiktaş may not have a Jurgen Klopp, an 80,000 capacity stadium or an illustrious Champions League history like Dortmund however, if Altınsay is able to create a 'Dortmund model' for the Black Eagles, their current crisis could prove to be a blessing in disguise. A successful academy system, with the highest level of coaching standards has huge potential. Turkey has 75+ million people with the youngest population in Europe, however, has lacked large scale football development institutions like the Clairefontaine system in France, the Cantera's of Spain and the academies of Germany. Beşiktaş has the chance to tap into a huge talent pool and radically alter their footballing philosophy in what would be an unprecedented move among Turkey's 'big3' (Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe). Altınsay won't have an easy job and it will require the full support of the board as a big clear out as well as the slashing of the wage budget will be necessary and adaptation to the changes are likely to take time to settle in. However, the changes could mark a milestone in creating a sustainable and successful future for the club and Turkish football in general.