Platanias face bleak future

Platanias face bleak future

The sharp demise of Platanias has been clear for all to see. Just last season, the Cretan club were pushing for a European spot, but now they are staring relegation down the barrel.

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Platanias have endured a dismal 2017/2018 Super League campaign so far, winning just two out of 23 matches and picking up a lowly 10 points. Unsurprisingly, Platanias occupy last place in the standings, a distant eight points from safety. If Platanias are somehow going to save their top-flight lives, a minor miracle has to appear out of the blue.

Mistakes made in summer 2017 are coming back to haunt the club. Platanias impressed during the previous campaign finishing in an excellent seventh position with 42 points, just 10 behind fifth-placed Panionios. The team from Chania should have ridden the momentum and continued their development this season, but the exact opposite happened. Key figures such as Juan Munafo, Georgios Manousos, Konstantinos Mendrinos and Yana Banana all left Platanias, however the club failed to sign adequate replacements.

Piotr Grzelczak, Yevhen Budnik and Pierrick Cros haven’t made any sort of impact, with the latter two having already left Crete. A squad bereft of quality has flattered to deceive in the Super League, performing dismally and giving their fans very little to cheer about. In November, matters began to reach a peak. Giorgos Parashos, who had led Platanias to some of the best achievements in the club’s history, departed. His absence gave Platanias a huge problem, leaving the club without someone who truly understood what it took to manage this team.

Nikolaos Manarolis was the caretaker boss, filling the void until Jose Manuel Roca was appointed by club president Manolis Mathioulakis. Despite other board members disagreeing with his decision to employ the Spaniard, Mathioulakis stuck to his decision. Nevertheless, Platanias’ fortunes didn’t improve, as Roca lost his first seven Super League matches in the hot-seat and made plenty of poor tactical errors. Eventually, in late January, he was given the boot. Giannis Chatzinikolaou is now heading the team, but Platanias’ relegation seems a matter of time.

Without any real prospects, Platanias face a rather uncertain future. According to reports from the Greek media, Mathioulakis is predicted to leave the club after the season reaches its completion, meaning that Platanias lose a major investor and have hard times approaching. Relegation to the Football League is already a disaster, but it could be just the start of the Chania club’s problems.

by Shaun Nicolaides
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