Ouzounidis Staying On And Set To Clean Up The Roster
Defiant in the face of adversity, Panathinaikos manager Marinos Ouzounidis has indicated he is here to stay and continue the uphill battle he faces. January has come at a good time for him as he has stated he is prepared to offload several underperformers in the squad in a bid to improve the mentality across the board. This is in spite of all the off-field problems the beleaguered club is facing.
The former player, now manager is ready to ‘put the broom’ through the squad after the latest embarrassment at Toumba which sees the Greens mired in the middle of the table and winless in 5. Ouzounidis and his staff believe the attitudes of some are unjustified even considering the uncertainty surrounding the club. As a result, those who are not in his plans will be looked at to move on in the upcoming transfer window which would also help boost the club’s finances.
This sacrifice also involves players who are believed not to have the quality to succeed at a club like Panathinaikos. Cover will also be brought in for injured players such as Luciano. With Molins being the only available striker of note at the moment (due to Chavez leaving), it is tipped the Greens will look to sign a forward even if it is just on a short-term loan deal or on the cheap given the finances.
In other words, January will be a vital month in the club’s history with lots of movement and new developments, and specifically in terms of on-field matters, Ouzounidis will look to build a team that is 100% focused and committed to withstand external pressures with the right attitudes.
One player expected to leave is Brazilian rock Rodrigo Moledo, but this is not due to a poor attitude. It is believed his sale can generate a good amount to boost the club’s finances and potential suitors will not be difficult to find. Internacional and Corinthians have already expressed an interest, and other European clubs are monitoring the situation.
Additionally, there is finally some good, positive news surrounding the club in the interim as UEFA has granted an extension for Panathinaikos to pay off its due debts, even possibly through settlements. This will give much needed breathing space. On top of that, the club will be allowed to make signings in the upcoming transfer window as normal. This enables Ouzounidis to build that strong character in the team. The original proposal was for the Greens to pay all its debts by the 31st of January (without a single installment) in order to avoid a ban from participating in European competitions for the next 3 seasons.
The right to remain active in the transfer market has been welcomed and so too has the latest proposal, where the club has until the 1st of March to meet its obligations. A significant portion of player sales in January will go towards the debt repayments for March. Without the extension this would not have been possible.