GIANNAKOPOULOS – THE POSSIBLE SAVIOUR OF PAO FC
The likeable owner of Panathinaikos BC, Dimitris Giannakopoulos, has dropped a bombshell stating his intentions of taking over the PAE and football club operations from the unpopular Giannis Alafouzos.
In what may seem as a shock to many long-suffering Panathinaikos fans, talks between the pair regarding a possible takeover begun three months ago in the beginning of summer at around mid-June. This would represent a massive turnaround in the mood surrounding the club and all of a sudden the outlook becomes much more promising, ironically immediately after an embarrassing away loss to Kerkyra.
It is well-known Giannakopoulos has his ways of achieving his goals, even if many may disagree with his methods but one thing is certain – he usually gets what he wants. We could find out as early as Thursday or Friday of this week what his plans for the club are, and more specifically how they will be achieved but we already know such a deal cannot take place overnight and there are certain hindrances at play. This comes most notably in the form of auditing to determine the extent of the club’s debt.
At this stage, any formal and potential takeover would take place in October and Giannakopoulos himself has hinted he would require strong football people by his side to assist him in bringing past glories back to the famous club. This would be in the form of creating “PAO Foundation” and appointing a new president to oversee the project. For now, we also know that Giannakopoulos has short-term intentions of moving home games away from Leoforos to OAKA as a temporary solution while the club awaits on future developments in relation to a new stadium at Goudi.
More will be known in the near future when Giannakopoulos reveals the full extent of his plans but he believes he can handle both PAO BC and PAO FC, and maintain the success on the basketball side of things, as well as bringing back the glory days back to the football club. The magnitude of his and his family’s influence on the club is reinforced by Greek media claiming that “if the family had control of the PAE in previous decades, Panathinaikos fans would have already celebrated at least one European title”.