SPORTS

Panathinaikos manager Ouzounidis resigns, with an asterisk

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

Panathinaikos lost manager Marinos Ouzounidis as well as its last game of the season on Monday, although the Greek coach made sure he asterisked his resignation announcement.

The Greens lost 2-1 at home to Xanthi and then heard Ouzounidis – the man widely credited with saving the team from relegation on the field – say that after a year and a half he has had enough and is leaving the club, upon the expiry of his contract.

"I do not think another manager has ever faced such great difficulties in a major club,” he said in the pst-game press conference at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium.

“The team is here, it appears a solution will be found and I hope it is found soon. I hope that at some point, under other conditions, we will be here again,” he said, possibly implying that if Panathinaikos’s ownership changes, as it is about to, he might stay on.

On the field, in the game resumed on Monday after Sunday’s storm, Panathinaikos led via Luciano Neves, but Xanthi turned things around with goals from Jorge Casado and Petar Durickovic to finish joint fifth and miss out on a place in the Europa League due to an inferior head-to-head record with Asteras Tripolis.

Panathinaikos finished in the 11th place, the lowest in its history, having had a total of eight points deducted due to debts and to fan action from last season.

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