Marinakis forced into compensating for lack of Champions League

Marinakis forced into compensating for lack of Champions League

Without UEFA Champions League money awaiting Olympiacos, the former Greek champions are slashing their budget with owner Evangelos Marinakis cutting contract costs.

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In a dreadful campaign, Olympiacos performed dismally in all competitions, notably languishing in third position of the Super League with a mere 57 points. As a result, the Thrylos failed to qualify for the Champions League, something which deprives Olympiacos of approximately 25 million. Fiery boss Evangelos Marinakis is eager to compensate for the monetary loss, reducing the club’s outlays on players.

Those with the highest contracts are being forced out of Olympiacos, especially given that the majority didn’t live up to expectations during a thoroughly disappointing season. The first out of the door was midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, who joined from Legia Warsaw in summer 2017. He arrived in Piraeus with an excellent reputation, but he didn’t seem interested with Olympiacos, falling out with the coaching staff after showing poor application. Ofoe boasted a contract worth 1.3 million, but he wasn’t good enough and has been ordered to leave the club.

When signing on loan from Everton in January, Belgian forward Kevin Mirallas was given a hero’s welcome, however he was a shadow of his former self. Mirallas only scored twice in 12 Super League appearances, so it’s not surprising that Olympiacos opted not to activate the release clause of 5.5 million. The striker would have cost Olympiacos 1.5 million a year.

Experienced defender Alberto Botia hasn’t been offered a new contract and is free to leave Olympiacos. Taking into account his unreliable form in defence, Olympiacos saw fit to send the Spaniard on his travels, in turn saving 800,000 euros per calendar year. Nigerian flop Emmanuel Emenike (1.5 million) is departing the club after struggling in his short spell in Greece, alongside Colombian Felipe Pardo (600,000), Guillaume Gillet (700,000), Pedro Martins (500,000) and Seba (420,000).

Marko Marin, the tricky, diminutive German playmaker, could be leaving Olympiacos, but the club are still willing to keep him on their books for next season. Currently earning 1.2 million, Marin appears to want to stay in Piraeus, but in order for that to happen, he needs to agree to his wages being reduced. Otherwise, he will be searching for a new club.

The situation surrounding Konstantinos Fortounis (1.0 million), Bjorn Engels (700,000), and Uros Djurdjevic (550,000) is still unclear. International midfielder Panagiotis Tachtsidis may also be packing his bags, although incoming head coach Pedro Martins is keen on Fortounis and Tachtsidis being a part of his Greek core plan.  

Interestingly, Martins is the lowest earning foreign coach in Olympiacos history, receiving 400,000 a year compared to 1.2 million which former manager Oscar Garcia was due to be paid. 

In the 2017/2018 Champions League, Olympiacos brought in an impressive combined total of 30.2 million, with half earned due to playing in the group stages and the remaining 15 million coming from the overall market pool, a sum of money that will currently be missed in the upcoming season.

by Shaun Nicolaides
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