Greece’s Big-4 to Begin Next Season With Closed Stadiums
The start of next season’s Superleague will see the league’s Big-4 begin with closed stadium match bans. AGONAsport brings you the breakdown.
After the chaos that took place in Greek football this season, from fan violence to court decisions, Greece’s Big-4, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, AEK, and PAOK will each begin next season with closed stadiums. In total, the four teams will serve 17 games without fans.
Starting off with current champions Olympiacos, they are due to serve a 5-closed stadium match ban. Three closed stadium matches came as a result of the incidents that took place in the match against Platanias in this year’s Superleague matchday 26 fixture. The Peiraiotes were also punished for incidents in the Greek Cup semi-finals against AEK. One match penalty was handed to the Erythrolefki because of the fan violence that took place in the first match at the Karaiskakis stadium and an additional match ban, due to the unacceptable behavior of the club’s sports director Francois Modesto in the second leg at the OAKA stadium.
PAOK are facing the heaviest penalties amongst the Big-4 as the Thessalonikis are confronted to serve a seven closed stadium match ban (also a six point deduction in the playoff standings). The Dikefalos tou Vora were “under probation” due to last year’s fan pitch invasions at the Toumba stadium during their Cup semifinal against Olympiacos. As a result, an additional 3 match closed stadium ban was added to the original 4 match closed stadium ban for this year’s Cup Final incidents in Volos. If their penalty remains as is, they will be forced to play the first half of the season without home fans, a blow to both the team’s morale and finances.
Panathinaikos payed a heavy toll for the foolish actions of a fan who threw a beer can at PAOK’s coach Vladan Ivic. Apart from the three point deduction from the playoff standings and the two point deduction in next year’s Superleague, the Trifylli face a two closed stadium ban as well.
Finally, AEK have been punished with a three match closed stadium ban, paying the price for the incidents at the Panthessaliko stadium during the Cup Final against PAOK. Along with a €170,000 fine, the Kitrinomavri will play their first three matches at the OAKA stadium without home fans.
Although the teams hold the right to appeal in order to see their penalties reduced, it is likely that some of next season’s most anticipated derbies will inevitably be conducted without fan attendance. In addition, the above penalties will most certainly affect the teams’ finances as season ticket sales are expected to be low.