Pan Asia’s Piempongsant traveling to Greece to finalize deal
The proposed takeover of Panathinaikos by Pan Asia Investments has gained traction and appears to be moving at a rapid pace. Giannis Alafouzos has declared he is happy with the offer on the table and wants to move forward. Consequently, Thai businessman Pairoj Piempongsant is expected to arrive in Athens early next week to sort out the details of the move.
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These talks could prove decisive as the major sticking point from here seems to be the repayment of the existing debts owed by the club. This has been the issue from the very beginning. In September of last year, Alafouzos himself stated that he will cover all of the existing debts. If he was to live up to this, the takeover will practically become a formality.
In terms of the debt itself, it can be broken into three categories. Firstly, the amount of debt covered by each respective party will need to be discussed. Additionally, the sums that need to be paid immediately in order for the team to be saved and to avoid relegation must be determined. On top of this, the time frame needs to be set in which future debts will be covered.
When talking about a deal like this worth millions, it is difficult to determine how close any deal is but long-suffering fans can take heart in the fact that both parties are keen to move ahead with the offer.
In other news, the playing group at the club once again decided to strike from training on Monday due to the fear of not being paid 35% of their December installments and 100% of their February installments, which were promised to be paid by the 15th of May. Ironically, after the season ends.
However, to the delight of the Panathinaikos supporters, the players and administration reached a deal on Tuesday and the players are expected to attend training as scheduled on Wednesday. These early week developments came at a bad time, as Panathinaikos host rivals PAOK this weekend.
Preparations for the derby were disrupted and before the agreement, it was not even clear if the players would actually play. As a result, there were thoughts of fielding players from the U20 team and kids from the U17 team against their rivals from Thessaloniki. This was fraught with danger as there are already members of the U20 team that are part of the first team too. Most notably, Chatzigiovannis, Staikos, Pispas, Kountouriotis and Emmanouilidis.