Donis Deal on the Home Stretch
Panathinaikos manager-in-waiting Giorgos Donis has met with technical director (and good friend) Nikos Dabizas and incoming owner Pairoj Piempongsant in relation to fleshing out the final contractual details. As expected, it went smoothly and only official announcement remains.
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It was originally set out as a 2 year deal, but recent reports indicate it will in fact be for 3 seasons. This would keep Donis on the Panathinaikos bench until 2021. The fact that Donis and his coaching team have already begun inspecting the training centre illustrates how much of a given the deal is. This is coupled with the club confirming the Netherlands has been chosen to continue pre-season preparations in early July. Donis is aware of this. The only hold ups preventing the official announcement are the fact that final signatures still need to be signed and some minor details need to be confirmed.
The Pan Asia takeover is also in good shape and looks to be completed imminently as the final legal and financial checks take place. The deal will be reportedly done before the end of the month. This may slow the Donis announcement down, but it is tipped to happen within the next 10-15 days, with the former Panathinaikos player taking the reigns immediately.
All that remains on Dabizas’ part is to now sway key, off-contract players such as Robin Lod to remain at the club to ensure the team is not severely weakened for the new season as the team will start on -6 due to failing to obtain a licence to participate in next season’s Championship. This will not be easy as the players would have to accept reduced salaries, particularly in next season.
Dabizas himself will be earning 240,000 Euro each year for the next 3 years in his role as technical director. Donis and his coaching team will earn a reported 500,000 Euro as a whole in the first year. This will rise to 700,000 Euro in the second year and up to 1 million Euro in the third year.
Piempongsant and Pan Asia were already keen on Donis as manager, even before meeting him, due to his time in Saudi Arabia with Al Hilal. They took a liking to how he sets his teams up and are aware of his capabilities. They are convinced he is the right man to lead the playing squad through a transitional period where things will be uncertain as he takes pride in his work and ensures he knows his players well. In addition to this, they also wanted to show a vote of confidence to Dabizas in backing him with his choice in manager.
In other news, Piempongsant is tipped to make a more concerted effort to keep PAOK duo Giannis Mystakidis and Ergys Kace at the club, following their respective loan spells in the second half of last season. The Thai businessman is aware the Greens will struggle to lure premium talent due to the transfer restrictions associated with failing to obtain a licence, so retaining Mystakidis and Kace will be a top priority as the pair are experienced, set to enter the best years of their careers and know the club well.
The club has already tried to keep them but PAOK has rejected the previous proposals. In his meeting with Piempongsant, Donis requested to keep both players and also players such as Finnish international Lod and Ousmane Coulibaly, who are considering moves away.