The harsh reality of the Superleague’s relegated sides
Unfortunately, the vast majority of teams that are relegated from the Superleague fail to complete their season in the Football League, with Iraklis being the latest example of this disappointing outcome in Greek football.
A few days ago, Iraklis president Spyros Papathanasakis announced Iraklis’ withdrawal from the Football League for the upcoming season. The Giraios declared bankruptcy and will now start again from scratch in Greece’s semi-professional third tier taking the name of the amateur division of the club, Iraklis Ampelokipon. This development seems to be the norm rather than a rare outcome in Greek football, as most relegated teams from the SuperLeague to the Football League do not complete their season in the second division. The culprit? Financial issues.
The numbers speak for themselves as only 3 of the last 11 relegated teams from the past 5 seasons have managed to complete their season in the Football League. AGONAsport explains...
At the end of the 2015/16 Superleague season, Panthrakikos and Kalloni were relegated to the Football League and both withdrew from the league due to financial issues. Panthrakikos withdrew after eight games while Kalloni succumbed near the end of the season.
The 2014/15 season saw four teams suffer relegation from the SuperLeague: Ergotelis, OFI, Niki Volou, and Kerkyra. Both Niki Volou and OFI failed to complete their SuperLeague season and did not make an appearance in the Football League, continuing in the third division. Currently, Niki Volou continue to play in the third division while OFI are seeking promotion to the SuperLeague in this year’s Football League campaign. Kerkyra re-earned a place back in the Superleague the next season while Ergotelis failed to finish the season in the Football League and were relegated to the third division.
At the end of the 2013/14 SuperLeague season, Aris Thessalonikis were relegated from the top flight straight to the Gamma Ethniki as Apollon Smyrnis managed to remain in the Football League that season (failed to earn promotion).
The 2012/13 Superleague season saw one of Greece’s most historic clubs, AEK, suffer relegation and due to financial reasons, decided to start from scratch in the Gamma Ethniki. Kerkyra were also relegated, but competed in the second tier. AEK’s restart has been a great success for Greek football as the Enosis has not only established themselves as one the best clubs in Greece at the moment, but is also playing in the Europa League group stages this season.
To summarize... The last five years season has seen five teams suffer relegation from the SuperLeague straight to Gamma Ethniki (Iraklis, Niki Volou, Aris, AEK, OFI), three teams withdrew from the Football League due financial issues (Ergotelis, Panthrakikos, Kalloni) while only three completed their seasons in the Football league (Kerkyra twice and Apollon Smyrni, Veria TBD).