Branco replaces Michel as PAOK’s Sporting Director
On Monday, PAOK accepted the resignation of their Sporting Director, Lubos Michel, who will be replaced by Mario Branco.
It is believed that Michel met with PAOK President, Ivan Savvidis, to discuss some issues on Sunday. Michel then informed the club’s Board of Directors of his decision to hand in his resignation a couple of days ago and an official statement was released by the club on Monday confirming Michel’s decision.
The reasoning behind this decision was due to increased demands put on him each season, as well as frustration about not being able to complete key transfer deals over the summer, which made manager Razvan Lucescu unhappy throughout the pre-season. Michel was overcome by the pressure after PAOK’s losses to Vidi in the UEFA Europa League, which leaves the club in a tough position in their respective group, and eventually resigned from his post.
In his three year spell as sporting director of PAOK, Michel brought success to the club helping the Thessalonikis win back to back Greek Cup titles in 2017 and 2018 as well as a runner up finish in last year’s SuperLeague.
In the statement, Ivan Savvidis thanked Michel for his three years of service and stated that Michel will remain at the club, working as an external consultant. In the same statement, PAOK announced that Mario Branco will replace Michael as the club’s Sporting Director. Branco joined PAOK back in August as Head of Football Development and previously was sporting director at HNK Hajduk Split.
In other news, the relationship between PAOK manager Razvan Lucescu and Egyptian Amr Warda is at breaking point, after the Egyptian international once again broke team rules. Earlier this season, Lucescu dropped Warda from the squad due to disciplinary issues and last weekend, Lucescu left Warda out of the roster in PAOK’s 2:1 league victory against Panetolikos. It is believed that the talented midfielder refuses to listen to the Romanian technician’s key messages throughout training sessions, putting his own ego ahead of the team. It has been reported that Atromitos could potentially reclaim Warda in the upcoming transfer period.