From early in his career, Turkish footballer Umit Nayir was studying for a law degree. It paid off earlier than he ever expected when his legal knowledge helped him to get a move to Besiktas.
Nayir’s former club Osmanlispor blocked his transfer to Super Lig clubs even after relegation. “The money they wanted for me was so much more than the market price,” Nayir explained. But the 25-year old, who was studying at the University of Ankara, reviewed case law from similar cases, consulted sports lawyers, and found there was a way out.
Because he was three years into his contract he was no longer in the so-called ‘protected period’ under FIFA rules. He could therefore end his Osmanlispor contract without the risk of a disciplinary sanction.
FREE TO MOVE
Any club wanting to sign him could make a deal with Osmanlispor or wait for an arbitration court to decide on the amount of compensation. Besiktas and Osmanlispor agreed to a 300,000 euro fee – far less than Osmanlispor initially wanted.
“Studying makes me more aware of what is happening away from football”
The 25-year-old striker hopes his story - part of FIFPRO’s Mind the Gap campaign - will encourage more players to expand their horizons and prepare for a new career outside football. “Studying makes me more aware of what is happening in life away from the football pitch,” he says.
Nayir is rarely able to attend at the University of Ankara now that he has left the city. But he is still studying hard by himself and hopes to become a sport lawyer when his football career is over.