No Love Lost: Giannakopoulos tells Bertomeu to “F*CK OFF!”
The ongoing saga between Panathinaikos owner and the EuroLeague CEO took another turn following the release of an expletive-filled statement by the club owner…
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Dimitris Giannakopoulos’ war of words with EuroLeague CEO Jordi Bertomeu reached a new boiling point after the Panathinaikos owner released an expletive-filled rant on Monday.
Responding to news of disciplinary action that arose following Giannakopoulos’ actions during Panathinaikos’ EuroLeague playoff series with Real Madrid, the Panathinaikos chairman took time to respond directly to Bertomeu despite his family mourning the loss of Dimitris’ uncle, Kostas Giannakopoulos, who sadly passed away on Sunday at the age of 85.
In a statement that was released on Giannakopoulos’ Instagram account and on Panathinaikos’ official channels, the fiery owner discussed Panathinaikos’ exit from the EuroLeague while landing a personal attack against Bertomeu.
“Whilst we have been receiving condolences from the whole of the European Sports community for the loss of Kostas Giannakopoulos, a respected member of the Panathinaikos family, whilst our family is mourning, you once again proved what a small person you are,” read the statement from Giannakopoulos.
Panathinaikos were knocked out of the EuroLeague following a 3-1 series defeat against Real Madrid, with the Trifylli losing three straight games despite holding home court advantage and previously taking a 1-0 series lead.
Giannakopoulos, who has been critical of the EuroLeague CEO and the competition’s executive branch, was critical of the officiating following his side’s loss to Real Madrid in game three of the series last week.
Giannakopoulos then added more fuel to the fire with comparisons between the EuroLeague board and dictatorships following Panathinaikos’ game four loss and subsequent elimination from the EuroLeague last Friday.
“This is not the first time that you have done this. You started by sanctioning me when I tried to protect my children from those who threatened them and cursed at them,” the statement from Giannakopoulos continued.
“You carried on by not doing anything to those involved in the above incident. You went on by sending my photo to all European stadiums as if I am a convicted criminal.
“And now, 24 hours since the loss to our family and our club, you continue your effort to exterminate Panathinaikos BC and me personally by sending your new ridiculous sanctions.”
“You have crossed all accepted limits and the only thing left to say to you is ‘FUCK YOU’ as it is the only thing that you deserve,” a clearly frustrated Giannakopoulos wrote.
Giannakopoulos has been lobbying for Panathinaikos to leave the EuroLeague and opting instead for a spot in next season’s FIBA Basketball Champions League – a rival competition of the EuroLeague.
While there is plenty of red tape ahead for Panathinaikos should Giannakopoulos follow through on his words and pull Panathinaikos from the EuroLeague, perhaps the biggest hurdle is the €10 million exit fee the club would be force to pay in event of an exit.
Giannakopoulos concluded his statement by trying to rally the fifteen other owners of the EuroLeague, as he looks to build momentum for his offseason plans for Panathinaikos.
“Dear Euroleague co-owners, are these the ethics of the person who we want to be representing the sport we love?” concluded Giannakopoulos.
Giannakopoulos is expected to have sit-down discussions with the FIBA Champions League board when the tournament’s Final Four tips-off in Athens later this week.