Nightmare Worst Case Scenario Panathinaikos Faces
As discussed yesterday, Dimitris Giannakopoulos and Giannis Alafouzos could not come to an agreement regarding the proposed takeover by the former. The major sticking point in negotiations was the amount of debt Alafouzos was to cover upon his exit. As a result, the club faces a massively uncertain future which has fans fearing for the worst. In this instance, the worst is relegation to Greece’s third division.
It has been known for some time now that Alafouzos wants to pull out of Panathinaikos FC, however, if a deal is not reached with Giannakopoulos or any other potential buyer, Panathinaikos is staring down the barrel of relegation to the amateur third tier of Greece. This would stem from the excessive debt accrued (rumoured to be in excess of 50 million Euro, under the watch of Alafouzos) and the fact that no one would be able to pay it back. Such a relegation would be beyond painful and embarrassing that it could not possibly be described in words.
Fellow Athenian giants, AEK, went down this path, however, they had a buyer ready to act and save them. If these current series of negotiations with Giannakopoulos amount to nothing, can the same be said of Panathinaikos? Will there be buyers waiting in the wings? It must also be noted that the circumstances have changed since AEK’s relegation which would make it much harder for Panathinaikos to return to its rightful place since relegation to the amateur leagues will no longer automatically clear debts, regardless of how long any club spends in those divisions. This reinforces why such a scenario is unthinkable for a club this size.
In addition, there are other short-term consequences such as the money owed to UEFA by the end of September and informing the players of the awful economic position the club finds itself in. This would create an unhappy dressing room as players could potentially face receiving late payments for instance.
The consequences are dire and optimism is falling by the day, but it is hoped Giannakopoulos and Alafouzos can still reach an agreement by holding new talks. Failure to do so could result in the worst case scenario provided Alafouzos follows through with his intentions and walks…