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Posts from the ‘Turkey’ Category

Ballon Sports Agency and Intermediary

Ballon is a sophisticated and progressive agency for player representation. Our roots are founded in the beautiful game though with capabilities and interests in other sports. The United Kingdom is our main ‘back yard’ but our Directors have firm footholds in Turkey, Romania and mainland Europe. However, our activities are truly global, with a wealth of connections – the envy of others. Our unique commercial skills have become our trademark in an industry where being that one step ahead makes the difference to success. Ballon Sports concentrates on: intermediary services for players seeking new opportunities and contracts; wrap around full welfare service for our clients, including career management and branding; training camps and talent showcasing; and video and traditional CV design and publishing for athletes. FA Intermediary IMS003597.

Video filmed at today’s suberb performance at EP:

Transfer Window

“If I say so myself, for a fledgling agency, the calibre of players exceeds our expectations. We have an abundance of goalkeepers, young and with international caps. I blame this on both Russ and myself who both have sons that have played in nets.

Today at a National League North fixture. The UK is our natural heartland through the levels of the football pyramid. Our overseas expertise and talent comes from Turkey, Romania and this year Bulgaria. We have access to seasoned professionals and young players from South America. A striker from Poland. And Russ has unearthed two New Zealand internationals which are available now.

All I would say is that I encourage any Clubs to make enquiries. It costs nothing but time to make an initial enquiry to Ballon.”

Broken Countries: Stay or Go #Britain #Turkey

As I awake this Easter Holiday and reflect on Sky News and the day’s and previous day’s events, I am tempted to recite those famous lyrics of The Clash band ‘Should I stay or should I go now?’.  Not afraid of being controversial, I put forward a viewpoint that might suggest some undertones and causes of unacceptable behaviour by sporting fans, that may have roots in the turmoil in the indigenous countries.  On this occasion, I’m advocating a view  of ‘Broken Britain’ and ‘Broken Turkey’.

Well respected sports journalists this week recalled events in Spain surrounding Leicester City’s supporters invasion of Madrid in the Champions League.  David Conn reported: “Leicester fans in a square in Madrid chanting ‘You Spanish bastards. Gibraltar is ours”. Oliver Holt: “Last night – Dortmund fans sharing their homes with Monaco fans shouting ‘Gibraltar is ours’. Makes you despair”. The Gibraltar subject being one of a newsworthy matter of potential #Brexit conflict in negotiations now that article 50 has been evoked.

It’s not that freedom of speech should be curtailed vis-a-vis Turkey’s President Recep Tayip Erdogan. However, with the ‘Foxes” incident, I advocate this mirrors a growing trend among English fans to aggression, racism, hooliganism and isolation. Leicester merely mimics a Country-wide trend, witnessed personally by me following the English national Team.

I still recite the demographics and metrics of the stereotypical ‘Brexiteers’ as a contract to the ‘Remainers’.  Of course, one should be wary of tarring all with that same brush, but it has been exposed that poverty, disillusionment and ignorance were common traits of that, slightly more than half of the Country, that voted for us to leave Europe.  I feel the same disadvantaged populous are those that are found among these hooligans.  I also suggest that this is not just a few, but the way an increasing portion of the British population are moving. The future can only mean more turmoil if such idiotic beliefs and unacceptable behaviour are likely to grow.  It this a ‘time bomb’ waiting to explode?  Is this the Country that we want future generations to be brought up in?

Last night, the fans of Besiktas rioted in France. The current documentaries by Simon Reeve on Turkey offers an unbiased reporting of the characteristics and frailty in both economic, cultural and political terms.  Here there is a clear hypothesis that by the ruling party allowing more immigration and offering relatively small ‘handouts’ to the poorer segment of society then what is happening is tantamount to ‘buying votes’ to further the aims and securing the power of that same AK Parti. The referendum is upon us which could give the biggest boost to that political party and widen the gap between Islamists and the traditional supporters of modern Turkey for which Ataturk was catalyst.

Okay – maybe a tenuous link, but I would promote one theory that hooliganism in football with Turkish fan involvement, may also have roots in the unrest from their homeland (By the way, I have also seen French supporters that are not blameless and witnessing firsthand where such as socio-disadvantage, ethnicity and social-exclusion may have inflamed situations).

In a short blog post, one should be wary of generalisations. Yest, I feel there could be factors much wider than traditional football supporting motivations that are now driving behaviour.  Where, I live bus loads of Turks, many of which I know, have travelled to London for advance voting to try and prevent increased influence to Erdogan. In this same area, the majority voted Remain in the EU Referendum.  So whilst some comfort in being surrounded by like-minded people, I do worry about the future in both of these two great countries and for the first time actually contemplate ‘Go’ in search of the best future for my family.

Adrian Stores is CEO at ACROBAT | FCSM.  It concentrates on marketing, sponsorship and fundraising – mainly in UK and Turkey. More information:

Will the grass be greener? #Brexit

It will take a while to realize the full implications of #Brexit.  Not everyone will agree with my musings, but I seek to at least get it off my chest.

I was undecided at first, but decided to understand the facts.  I decided to vote Remain from a somewhat selfish perspective seeing that my motives were protectionism and crystal ball gazing (at least on the probability of predictions!), as to that I felt best for my Family and Businesses.

As an educated marketer, I read and read and saw reasoning in the economic reports, one after another that suggested, “you gotta be in it, to win it” – at least in respect of financial stability for our once great Nation.

I could recite a Library but just read.  Ask me if I was so wrong to believe:

BREXIT: the impact on the UK and the EU” (Global Counsel, 2015); “Should We Stay or Should We Go? The economic consequences of leaving the EU” (London School of Economics, 2015); Annual Health Check of the U.K. economy and periodic report on the financial sector “ (IMF, 2016); and “Quarterly Inflation Report” (Bank of England, 2016) etc.

So on economic grounds and potential avoidance of a recession, I was in the IN club.

The blue and yellow map representing votes cast in the EU Referendum, whilst reminding me of Fenerbache, showed that for the populous, we now are officially a ‘Broken Britain’. The people have voted but have they voted on facts?  Is it just hearts rather than heads?  I do wonder were the relative pros and cons really explained.  I feel not, just a circus of lies and misinformation especially from LEAVE. The campaign showed untruth after untruth yet this didn’t derail the wagons of Farage et al. With my personal interests in Turkey – some communication from that divide came close to racism – and was at the very least scaremongering around immigration and/or islamophobia.

Whilst, I must stand up for the principles my Grandad, Bill Stores, taught me: “never fall out about politics or religion” there is the odd contact for their views and so called ideology that I have no desire to face in the immediate future.  I do have a ‘gut feel’ – no more than that – that a ‘Gentleman’s agreement with Turkey’ may have been tabled to try and assist with accession.  This related to NATO and use of bases in Southern Turkey and the recent trafficking of refugees from Turkey to Greek Isles.  Maybe this relationship has faltered also – and it will be interesting, if right, to see the fallout from any such beliefs especially in relations between UK and Turkey.

Britain is broken.  Either that or like lemmings our citizens have simply followed the ‘redtops’ whether they read the dailies coming out in favour or not of the European Union.  The UK population voted OUT – although in fact as I always said #tooclosetocall – only just over half did in percentage terms!  The disengagement with the way things are, be that poverty lines, discrimination or UK politics undoubtedly contributed. So were people always voting in the EU debate or in fact something else? Voters voted against the advice of the Leaders of their traditional political parties except for in corners like Scotland, who in turn will no doubt pursue a claim for independence as its’ people wanted to stay in the EU.

The people spoke, as is the point of a referendum – and Europe must fear others will follow suit. Maybe, Denmark again or Netherlands?  The demographics apart from geographical territory make an interesting read.  The younger appear in the same camp as me, but the elder age-bands voted for a swift exit.

What do I believe are immediate implications regarding Turkey? The first input I felt was a good rationale response from Turkey’s Prime Minister,  Binali Yildirim: “The EU should reconsider its vision” in the wake of Britain’s impending exit, be that 24 months away. President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may have been less calm depending on risks of promises not coming to fruition?

What, if any are potential repercussions in the world of sport where, I and ACROBAT | FCSM trade?  If you take the EPL, in 2015-2016, 432 European players were registered to play with our clubs.  Don’t expect them to be shipped out but future transfers can expect to be impacted.  By 2017-2018, any new incoming players will not have an automatic right to live and work in the UK.  Europeans could then be subject to the same immigration rules and regulations as non-EU players.

In the sport of the oval ball, rugby, repercussions are likely to be less severe. Unlike in football, there are not as many players of European origin represented in the Premiership as its NGB, the RFU, has had protocol for a while encouraging the  clubs to ‘Buy British’ with English qualified players actively encouraged through financial incentives.

I fear for households like mine – and indeed many others.  I fear for SMEs and larger corporates alike.  I fear for public sector (including higher education) and funding regimes. I just fear for the ‘unknown’ we now enter – as I strongly believe the debating and voting was a misleading marketing agenda from both sides – and people got confused and caught up in the web of lies.

Of course, the threat if in-migration and terrorism is a serious threat. So, we’ll now have more control of our borders.  Will we? Let’s wait and see.  Immigration has benefits and my children would not have been cared for by midwifery and consultants without skilled labour from overseas taking jobs that our indigenous population weren’t able to fill.

My people don’t disappoint me. Everyone has free speech in our Nation.  What upsets me is the ineptitude in the marketing and communication in facts.  Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing, yet, with just a little more co-ordination, people would have been better equipped to give their most objective opinions.  Just a few percentages’ swing would have meant that the grass we know to have been continued to be played upon.  Whereas, I have severe reservations that by Brexit the ‘grass will be greener’.  I’ve not heard much yet on this subject, but won’t be the slightest bit surprised if this is the final straw to some citizens – and another motivation to ‘brain drain’.

Of course, as our branding at ACROBAT | FCSM constantly shouts: “you have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to play better than anyone else!”  So rant over, and we’ll just try and get on with it in the best interest of my Family, Businesses and Clients – both in the UK, Turkey……and Europe.

My only consolation is that I know my immediate people, in near proximity, are still on the same wavelength. Proud of you Manchester and Stockport folk that saw fit to vote Remain and oppose the trend seen across the Country .

“Over and out” and back to watching the Euro 2016. My next holiday is in Gibraltar 🙂

Adrian Stores is CEO at ACROBAT | FCSM: Award winning MARKETING, FUNDRAISING & SPONSORSHIP consultancy | specialism sports and leisure | UK & TURKEY