One of Greece’s historical football clubs Panathinaikos is on the brink of collapse after the board of directors resigned early on Friday afternoon after a stormy meeting. Outgoing president Dimitris Gontikas said among others during a press conference “We resign in order to sensibilize the shareholders”. Some Greek media claimed that at least one businessman asked the money he had invested in Panathinaikos back. The issue is not over, however the omens are not good for one of the oldest and most succesful football clubs in Greece.
The Panathinaikos board of directors resigned en masse after a stormy three-hour meeting today, plunging the Greek giant’s into further crisis.
The dramatic turn of events followed a warning by the Super League’s disciplinary committee that Panathinaikos were to pay the maximum penalty for last Sunday’s riots during the derby clash with league-leaders Olympiakos at the Athens Olympic Stadium.
Olympiakos were awarded the match 3-0 [it had ended in the 82nd minute with Olympiakos ahead 1-0], with Panathinaikos deducted three points from this season and two points from next season. Panathinaikos will also have to play four home matches without any supporters as well as a fine of €252,500.
In addition, the club will have to pay an undetermined amount for the heavy damages to the Athens Olympic Stadium facilities.
At a press conference after the board of directors resigned, outgoing president Dimitris Gontikas said a general assembly meeting of shareholders will be held on 18 April to select a new board and to find a way out of the club’s financial doldrums.
“We made a great effort but now there are no minimum guarantees to work with. With these developments we cannot do anything. I hope Panathinaikos will find its way,” Gontikas said.
Another outgoing board member, Thanassis Giannakopoulos, said the club “is facing dissolution. I find it inconceivable that after 35 years at Panathinaikos I see ourselves in this situation. The ship is sinking. I cannot understand how we reached this point.”
Panathinaikos are currently in second place in the Super League. In their 104-year history the club have won 20 Greek league titles and 17 Greek Cups. (Fifa.com)
With businessmen to have run out of cash due to the economic crisis and the banks refusing to give loans, AEK FC is another historical football club facing economic problems.