Panathinaikos discuss European suspension with UEFA, while the debt shrinks
Panathinaikos discuss European suspension with UEFA representative, meanwhile the club’s debt has been halved compared to a year ago.
Panathinaikos and Giannis Alafouzos have exhausted all avenues internally within Greece to the point where they have gone to UEFA to discuss the possibility of overturning their ban from participating in any European competition for the first time in any of the three seasons they first qualify for.
Prior to this, the club made their anger known to the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) in relation to the officiating and decisions that have gone against them this season, which have undoubtedly cost the club vital points in their pursuit of fifth spot. Aris were gifted a penalty for an ‘imaginary’ handball by Mattias Johansson, a penalty was not given to Federico Macheda in the dying embers of the home match against Larissa for a clear push, a penalty was not given to Dimitris Kourbelis in the away fixture against Panionios for another shove in the penalty box, the elbow in the lead up to PAOK’s first goal in the derby at OAKA was missed, among several others. They were told that the referees are “human.”
As a result, Panathinaikos met with UEFA official Zoran Lakovic. However, discussions about officiating in Greece was of a more general nature. Instead, talks with the Serbian centred around the possibility of UEFA erasing the suspension handed down to the club last year. The talks went well and took place in a good climate. It can be inferred that if the Greens can wipe away their debt, settle all existing obligations with creditors, and submit a clear file for a licence to participate in the Greek Super League, the ban will be overturned and Panathinaikos will able able to return to Europe as soon as they qualify.
Meanwhile, the figure being reported in terms of the debt at the club is 25 million euros. According to reports coming out of media outlets in Greece, this figure has been halved compared to this time a year ago. When Pairoj Piempongsant expressed his interest in acquiring the Trifylli last year, the debt was sitting at 50 million euros. The licencing issue with the EPO followed, as did the aforementioned European suspension.
However, since then, three share capital increases have been passed at Board of Directors meetings. This has paved the way for a yield of 24 million euros. On top of this, the budget for the playing squad was slashed which helped lower expenses, as was the budget for operating expenses.
Whilst the deal with Piempongsant seemingly fell through, Alafouzos himself appears willing to shed the existing debts off and also look for a new investor to take over.