Bayer Leverkusen star Hakan Calhanoglu has performed a thoughtful gesture towards his club after being handed a four-month ban.
The attacking midfielder has told the club that he wishes not to receive his salary during his four-month suspension imposed by FIFA, in order not “to damage the club any further” for an offence that the club itself did not commit.
Calhanoglu was handed the lengthy ban due to a breach of transfer regulations in 2011, when Turkish club Trabzonspor claimed that they agreed to sign him from Karlsruhe, only for the player to stay in Germany.
The Turkish international told Leverkusen’s official website of his intentions to waive his full wages and any additional bonuses during his period away from the pitch.
Calhanoglu said: “Bayer 04 have nothing at all to do with the events back then. The club will be hit hard by the punishment both on the pitch and financially.
“Therefore, it’s clear to me that I don’t want to damage the club any further and I will forego my wages for the whole time I’m banned from playing.”
According to Leverkusen’s website, the 22-year-old will continue to train with the first team as well as offering full support to his team-mates as they aim to help the club climb the Bundesliga table.
The Champions League hopefuls, who face 2016 runners-up Atletico Madrid in the last 16, have endured a difficult league campaign so far, lying in 9th place after back-to-back defeats against Borussia Monchengladbach and Hamburg.
As the club’s joint-top scorer in the Bundesliga – with 6 goals and 5 assists to his name – the loss of Calhanoglu will be a significant blow to Leverkusen.
But his denial of reports linking him to Premier League leaders Chelsea, as well as his selfless offer to refuse wages, indicate wholehearted commitment and dedication to his current employers.
Gestures like this from Calhanoglu are wonderful to see, particularly as it belies a reputation among many footballers for financial greed; hopefully we’ll see many more examples of players showing this much consideration for their clubs.