Fener boss YIldIrIm urges unity after winning confidence vote

Fenerbahandce voted to give Aziz Yildirim yet another term as the cluband’s chairman, a position he has held for more than 17 years, in a club election held on Sunday.
Yildirim beat Hulusi Belgandu over the weekend to win his 12th election. Yildirim won easily after gaining 5,504 votes as opposed to Belganduand’s 1,144. The long-time chairman was first voted into the position way back in the February 1998 election. Of the 12 elections in which he has run in and won, Yildirim was the sole candidate in seven and beat another candidate in the last two.
The victory essentially amounts to a vote of confidence for Yildirim, who was convicted in a match-fixing scandal that went public on July 3, 2011, and broke the hearts of countless Turkish football supporters. Yildirim was incarcerated for the best part of a year and his sentence was later suspended pending a retrial, which is scheduled for July 8.
In his victory speech, Yildirim gave thanks to his supporters and for being given another chance in office. He argued that the club experienced troubles during the sultanate and the republican era of Turkey and said it has problems with the state.
and”There have been serious charges [against] Fenerbahandce since July 3 [2011],and” he said and stated that he and other Fenerbahandce managers had the worst days of their lives in jail.
and”The biggest projects were launched after I got out. Our target is to have 1 million [club] members. I will work for that during my tenure,and” Yildirim added. He called for all members to unite under the roof of Fenerbahandce, a civil society organization, regardless of their backgrounds and said the club would object to state decisions to protect its rights if necessary.
h2Another election winh2
Yildirim vowed to press for another election as soon as the match-rigging case has been finalized. and”Iand’ll call for the elections in the evening of the day I am acquitted of the accusations. The people who will run for the chair should prepare well and choose their board members very carefully. There are many valuable people in Fenerbahandce. I recommend these people to start working soon,and” Yildirim said, adding that he would bid farewell with his family on the same stage where he gave his victory speech.
Despite the crushing election victory over Bengandu, Yildirim probably has almost as many opponents among the fans due to what they perceive as wrongdoings during his 17-year tenure. In his latest season with the club, Fenerbahandce saw archrival Galatasaray reach its 20th football title and therefore become the first team to merit four stars on its shirt — one for each batch of five trophies. He has also faced criticism from rivals and fans as the voices calling on him to quit peaked during this seasonand’s final games.
Yildirim also came under fire for promoting assistant coach ismail Kartal to the role of head coach, and his successor, Ersun Yanal. In his speech, the veteran chairman stood up for Kartal, who resigned after the season ended. and”He is a child of this club. His child was beaten at school and his wife was harassed because of him. I donand’t accept this. If these happen again, they [the perpetrators] will have to face me,and” he said.
Since Yildirim became chairman in 1997-98, Fenerbahandce has won six domestic championships, but hasnand’t enjoyed any major international success, which the club is so keen to acquire. During his tenure, the Yellow Canaries, as the team is called, has also twice won the Turkish Cup, the first of which came 29 years after the cluband’s previous cup win.
During Yildirimand’s tenure as chairman, Fenerbahandce reached greater heights in other sports disciplines — with its basketball team recently reaching the Euroleague Final Four for the first time in its history — although such achievements are hardly mentioned when it comes to evaluating a club chairmanand’s success. As ever, football dominates.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman