Problems remain at Panathinaikos despite economic relief in winter transfer window
Now that the dust has settled on a productive January transfer window, Panathinaikos club management must now turn its attention to settling an array of off-field dramas.
January provided the struggling club with over 6 million Euro, as numerous playing contracts were resolved, as well as selling valuable assets (in terms of better players) in a bid to pay a portion of the debt off.
Here is a list of the player sales:
- Odisseas Vlachodimos to Benfica (will stay with the Greens until the end of the season) for 1.5 million Euro
- Niklas Hult to AEK for 200,000 Euro
- Lucas Villafanez to Alanyaspor for 750,000 Euro
- Rodrigo Moledo to Internacional for 150,000 Euro
It must be noted the fee for Villafanez is an estimate based on rumours and Moledo has just departed to join Internacional with immediate effect. Consequently, the club received 150,000 Euro as compensation.
Here is a list of players that were released:
- Andres Chavez - 800,000 Euro
- Rodrigo Moledo - 350,000 Euro
- Yacouba Sylla - 400,000 Euro
- Bryan Cabezas - 250,000 Euro
- Niklas Hult - 500,000 Euro
- Oscar Hiljemark - 300,000 Euro
- Nuno Reis - 240,000 Euro
- Giorgos Koutroubis - 380,000 Euro
In total it equates to just over 6 million Euro, but the club did sign Vangelis Oikonomou on a free transfer and his wages are estimated to be 150,000 Euro. Furthermore, the sale of Dimitris Kourbelis did not take place as the player was not interested in a move to PAOK. This would have added another 2 million Euro. He is expected to leave for Sampdoria in the summer, so the Greens will have to wait to get this money.
Despite the adequate amount of money that the club saved in January, the financial problems remain at Panathinaikos. According to the newspaper Prasini, the Athenian club need a total of 7 million Euros before the end of the season to avoid any major problems. This equates to 1.5 million Euros a month, an amount that can only be funded by Giannis Alafouzos himself as the club itself cannot generate that amount of revenue on its own.
Alafouzos has also promised he will contribute 3 million Euro of his own in June to help the club see out its obligations pertaining to the current season. It is believed the non-sale of Kourbelis has limited cash flow in the immediate future. However, Alafouzos has made these types of promises before and has failed to deliver so there cannot be a reliance on this. February will also be a critical month as several former players have had their cases against the club in relation to payment postponed. This includes former players such as Essien, Toche and Tavlaridis, among others.
In other news, the club has been evicted from the offices it was renting as they fell 7 months behind in paying the rent, so as a result, the search is now on to find new offices for club staff. The owner of the old offices has already found new tenants. Smaller office spaces will be looked at since there are less employees now when compared to 6 months ago when Giannis Alafouzos pulled the plug and stopped pumping his own money into the club. This has also prompted those who remain at the club to take on further responsibility beyond their scope in an attempt to fill in the missing holes.
On top of all of this, it must not be forgotten that the club has until the 1st of March to pay its existing debts that are owed to creditors. This was the deadline set by UEFA, and the European governing body also stated a fine of 100,000 Euro is already in place. This figure will double to 200,000 Euro if the Greens fail to live up to their end of the bargain. A one year ban from all European competitions would also kick in if the club fails to pay the debts in question. This ban would be for the first time Panathinaikos qualifies for Europe between now and 2021.