Sagas Continue At Panathinaikos As FIFA Ban Transfers
The situation worsens by the day at Panathinaikos. The latest installment of bad news comes as no surprise as FIFA has banned the cash-strapped club from acquiring new players in the transfer market. This is due to the ongoing debt issues that have plagued the club for some time.
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It is unclear as to how the transfer ban will operate, as FIFA still needs to confirm if the Greens will be allowed to sign only Greek players under the age of 24 or if it will be a full ban which would result in the club not being allowed to make any signings at all. The penalty is official, only the limitations need to be revealed.
It comes at a bad time as the World Cup is approaching. This would have enabled the club to look for players in the tournament to bolster the squad for next season. The World Cup has proven to be a handy shop window for players in years gone by, but the Greens will have to miss out on this opportunity to make improvements to the squad.
Furthermore, Ouzounidis’ future at the club is bleak since he is out of contract at season’s end. This development will not do anything to keep him at the club. It also makes it harder to lure potential new managers if he does opt to leave.
The club has the right to appeal this ruling from FIFA until the end of June, but given the financial situation any appeal seems highly unlikely. However, this is not the most pressing concern for the Trifylli. The club is still awaiting the outcome of the meeting between the Board of Directors of all clubs and the EPO in relation to any possible changes in licensing regulations which would help keep the club in the top flight next season. At the moment, the subsequent penalty for failing to obtain a license is relegation.
As it can be observed, Giannis Alafouzos is dragging Panathinaikos into the darkest days of its history but as it stands, only he can make the big decisions relating to the club’s future.