Turkey: Collection Of The Footballers’ Receivables In Turkey

Last Updated: 2 November 2012
Article by Orçun Doğancalı

I Introduction

The Turkish football industry is the seventh largest in Europe, having generated a revenue of 515 million Euros in 2011. However, some of Turkey’s top football teams (including Fenerbahce), their officials (including Fenerbahce’s club president Mr. Aziz Yildirim), and various players are still subject to criminal investigations started in 2011. In addition to these incidents, in 2011 there were also major legislative amendments introduced by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) with respect to the collection of the players’ receivables. In this article, these amendments, which are tremendously effective, will be summarised both from the perspectives of the Turkish and the foreign players. It will be concluded that the Turkish players have three legal options to pursue their receivables against the Turkish clubs, whereas the foreign players have four. In order to produce a reader friendly text, references to the specific statuses of the TFF / FIFA as well as the Turkish legislation are purposefully avoided in this article.

II Arbitration at the Dispute Resolution Chamber of the TFF (Chamber)

Is suing the club at the Chamber mandatory or voluntary? Voluntary.

When should the parties agree on the arbitration? Before or after the dispute arises? After the dispute.

A New Directive regulating the Chamber was put into force in August 2011 (New Directive). In case a dispute (such as one regarding receivables) arises between the club and the player, either party is entitled to apply to the Chamber in writing. After that, the Chamber shall notify the other party whether it (in practice, this party is always the club) accepts that the dispute shall be resolved by the Chamber. In other words, this arbitration is not a compulsory one and the parties should even agree, after the dispute arises, on whether the dispute should be resolved by the Chamber. These are the most noteworthy amendments introduced by the New Directive. Before the New Directive, the club and the player were obliged to resolve the receivables dispute through the mandatorily applicable arbitration procedures of the Chamber. During the period when the previous mandatory arbitration of the Chamber was in force, disputes between the clubs and players, as expected, were resolved faster and with less cost than the litigation in the court. The usual length of the trial of the compulsory arbitration of the Chamber would be approximately 1 (one) year.

The reason and the rationale behind why the mandatory arbitration of the Chamber has been abolished is controversial (i.e. is it because the UEFA/FIFA has requested this? Not entirely, we presume). Leaving that question aside, after the New Directive was put into force, we have the fact that only few cases are brought before the Chamber. As expected, the clubs generally do not agree on the new voluntary arbitration procedure of the Chamber. From the perspective of the Clubs’ interests, litigation in the court is more favourable since in that way they are able to postpone the payment of the player’s receivables even if the court renders its decision in favour of the player.

III Litigation in the court

Is this a lengthy and costly legal option? Yes, it is.

If there is a receivable dispute and if the club does not provide its consent that the dispute shall be resolved at the arbitration of the Chamber (- as explained in section II above - ), then the player should sue the club at the Turkish court. There must always be a signed professional player’s contract between the player and the club. Any player’s contract should define the club’s financial obligations with regard to the player’s salary, bonuses etc. Having said that, the legal ground of the lawsuit shall be the infringement of the player’s contract. This lawsuit is an ordinary and usual “receivables” lawsuit that will be resolved pursuant to the Turkish Procedural Law and Code of Obligations etc. In the best case scenario, the usual length of the litigation in court (including its appeal period) would be 2 (two) years.

IV Directly initiating the collection proceedings through the execution office

Does this procedure have more adventurous payments? Yes, it does.

As an alternative to the legal options explained above, the player may directly initiate execution proceedings upon the club for the collection of his receivables. Upon receiving the request of the player in writing, the execution office shall serve the payment order upon the club. Within seven days following the receipt of the payment order, the club shall either object to the payment order or pay the amount/receivables indicated in the payment order to the player. If the club objects, then the player should apply to the court for the cancellation of the objection. This lawsuit is not entirely different from the one explained in section III above. The only additional legal benefit available to the player is that the court might order the payment of the “execution denial compensation” in the amount of 20 percent of the receivables (- if the disputed receivable(s) is definite and/or determinable before the trial). In most cases, as explained, there will be a player’s contract setting forth explicitly the amount of the salary, bonuses etc. that the player will receive. This means that the receivable is definite or at least determinable. To briefly re-phrase this: the player might be able to receive the receivable, plus compensation to the amount of 20 percent of the receivable.

V Taking the club to the Dispute Resolution Chamber of FIFA (DRC)

Are foreign players in Turkey armed with more powerful legal option(s) within the scope of the legislation of the FIFA? Yes, they are.

It should be noted that, like Turkish players, foreign players are also entitled to sue Turkish clubs. The legal option explained below is an additional legal remedy, which does not preclude the foreign players to exercise legal options available to the Turkish players.

Having said that, the DRC is entitled to resolve the employment related disputes between the players and the clubs of an international dimension. It is unarguable that a dispute between a foreign player and a Turkish club with respect to receivables is an employment related dispute with an international dimension. In other words, the foreign player is entitled to sue the Turkish club at the DRC for the settlement of his receivable dispute. If the DRC renders its decision in favour of the player, then the DRC notifies the short version decision (i.e. findings of the decision) to the Turkish club through the TFF. The club has two options; either pay the receivable within 30 days following the receipt of the short version decision or request the issuance of the full version decision (decision with grounds/reasons) from the DRC within 10 days following the receipt of the short version decision. For the Club, the time limit to appeal the decision of the DRC at the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) shall commence upon the receipt of the full version decision.

At the end of the procedures, the decision of the DRC in favour of the foreign player might become final and binding. Upon that, if the Turkish club does not fulfil the decision of the DRC, (i.e. payment of the player’s receivables), then the Turkish club might be subject to severe disciplinary sanctions imposed by FIFA and implemented through the TFF (such as payment of a heavy fine, deduction of 6 points that the club gained in the national league, etc.)

VI Conclusion

As explained, there are three legal options available to the Turkish players to pursue their receivable(s) against the club, namely;

  • OPTION 1: Suing the club at the voluntary arbitration of the Dispute Resolution Chamber of the TFF and,

  • if the club does not agree on the voluntary arbitration of the TFF, then the player should either;

(i) OPTION 2: sue the club before the court,


(ii) OPTION 3: directly initiate execution proceedings for the collection of his receivable(s) (- if the club objects to the execution proceedings, then the player should file a lawsuit for the cancellation of the objection - ). Option 3 provides an advantageous legal mechanism for the player to receive the (additional) “execution denial compensation” in the amount of 20 % of the receivable.

As far as foreign players are concerned, they have an additional legal option available to them i.e. suing the club at the Dispute Resolution Chamber of FIFA. (OPTION 4) In other words, foreign players are entitled to sue the clubs like Turkish players, plus they have an additional international weapon.

Which of the options explained above areto be chosen and initiated against the Turkish club depends on the particulars of each individual case (such as whether the club is in a good financial situation, whether the Club is willing to pay etc.)

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.