Panathinaikos Edging Closer To Disaster

Panathinaikos Edging Closer To Disaster

The previously reported Article 57 of the UEFA Licensing Regulation loophole sought after by Panathinaikos in a bid to avoid relegation to the Football League, cannot be used.

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The Greens were hoping to use this Article as a way out of having to settle all of its existing debts as of December 31st, 2017 by claiming “special conditions” at the club. It would have allowed for a three year “grace period” to settle the aforementioned obligations. There would have been restrictions, but the team would have been guaranteed to stay in the top flight.

It has been discovered, however, this cannot be incorporated due to the fact no new modifications can be made to the existing Intermediate Regulation. Any change must be made at the end of the season, not 10 days before the relevant data and information is required (as previously reported the licensing deadline is the 31st of March). The slightest of changes at this stage of the season, by a club board or the EPO, has the ability to bring about severe punishments.

This is a major problem for the Trifylli as the sheer volume of outstanding obligations shows no sign of being settled within the next 10 days. If one was to look at the matter realistically from the outside looking in, it can be inferred that Panathinaikos has next to no chance of settling all the outstanding matters, therefore failing to secure a license for next season’s Greek Super League and thus, resulting in immediate relegation to the Football League.

All this comes at the same time Panathinaikos BC owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos is inching closer to buying the struggling Football Club. Additionally, it is a major issue for the League as a whole, since Panathinaikos is a club with history and commercial value. Sponsorships would undoubtedly suffer, especially in terms of TV rights. Both Nova and COSMOTE TV have lodged a mandatory requirement that Panathinaikos must participate in next season’s Championship, otherwise their respective proposals become significantly smaller. On top of that, the quality of the League would also diminish. The EPO and Government would like to help but their hands are tied.

Giannis Alafouzos would not want to bear the burden of such a famous club capitulating under his leadership and write history for the wrong reasons. As it can be observed, as every hour counts and with every passing minute the future of Panathinaikos is becoming bleaker, culminating in relegation.

by Nick Tsambouniaris
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