By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
Fenerbahce Beko president Ali Koc talked about coach Zeljko Obradovic leaving the Turkish powerhouse after seven years at the helm. Koc said that Obradovic offered to resign halfway through the season but the club insisted on continuing together for a turnaround effort in EuroLeague.
“Do you believe I sent a legend like Obradovic away on purpose? Sending Obradovic on purpose means sabotaging myself,” Koc said to HaberTurk. “We wanted him to stay from the beginning. We wanted to extend his contract several times during the season, but we were getting bad results. He said, let’s not talk now, let’s leave the end of the season. After our defeat in December, Obradovic offered us his resignation. But we said, “You taught us not to give up, we’re behind you,” and we supported him. Perhaps we could make the biggest comeback in the history of EuroLeague. We made two transfers. But sometimes it doesn’t happen when it’s not there. He thanked us for standing behind him. We wanted to continue with our teacher and we made all our planning accordingly. We made long-term contracts with the players. This shows this situation. Then the pandemic intervened. We also talked about what to do in the pandemic process. When we came here, we talked about planning a new season. He said I have to ask my family. We never came to the salary stage with him, but we made many plans. However, he made this kind of decision and we cannot do anything other than to respect it. But we were sorry. Like every Fenerbahce fan, I was sad.”
“The fact that our teacher was leaving made some people happy,” Koc added. “For example, one of our former managers came out and spoke. We had payment difficulties but this is not the first time. When we took over the management, we paid 10 million dollars. Then there were payment problems. Such explanations are sad. I find these statements very unsuitable. Since we explained the separation at night, we were hit from place to place. On that day, he expressed his decision to us on like 4-4.30 and expressed his sadness. We told him “Let’s have a meeting together and explain this to our workers and then to the public”. He sent us his statement and we translated it around 9 p.m. Then we made the announcement at 11 p.m. but we intend to publish it in the morning. If only Obradovic was here, I wish he had stayed. But it didn’t happen. Unexpected things happen in this life.”
A few days after Zeljko Obradovic officially parted ways with Fenerbahce, the club secured that general manager Maurizio Gherardini will remain for two more seasons.
“Gherardini stayed with us. One of the pillars of our success,” Koc said. “He’s doing a feverish work. He put this work on his head. There are names that we talked about for the future. We may announce interesting things soon. Jasikevicius is one of the promising coaches in Europe. Our new coach could be him or someone else, but whoever it is, it will be a good choice. Some of our players’ contracts are over. Datome is a loved one, if not as much as Obradovic. A true leader, great player and great human. He received a three-year contract and asked for understanding. There will be restructuring in our team for sure. Pandemic is an opportunity. We think that we can be structured as a team with a Final Four goal. This is what I think especially after the news we have received in the last few days. Whoever comes after Obradovic, won’t find it easy. When we look at clubs after Obradovic’s departure, we can see that they had a lot of problems. I hope we will not have those troubles.”