Trabzonspor’s outstanding season put it on the verge of a return to European football, but the Turkish Super Lig leaders won’t get to enjoy the spoils of victory.
Trabzonspor has failed to meet the terms of a Financial Fair Play agreement made with UEFA in 2016, and will miss out on Europe should they qualify in either of the next two seasons.
Trabzonspor is comfortably in the top four, ahead of Istanbul Basaksehir on goal differential and nine points clear of fifth-place Besiktas.
The news is plenty good for Besiktas, Alanyaspor, and Fenerbahce, who all sit within four points of fifth place but another five beyond the top four.
There have been plenty of familiar faces in Trabzonspor’s run to the top of the TSL table, though Daniel Sturridge’s starring role is over. His contract with Trabzonspor was voided after he was banned from football until mid-June and fined nearly $200,000 for providing his brother with “inside information” regarding a possible summer transfer to Sevilla.
Ex-Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth leads the club with 25 goals and long-time Chelsea man John Mikel Obi mans the midfielder. Badou Ndiaye, Ogenyi Onazi, and Joao Pereira are also on the team, and may not have the patience for a year without Europe.