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Crisis grows at Panathinaikos, board resigns

By George Georgakopoulos

The scars at Panathinaikos from the abandoned derby against Olympiakos last Sunday are ever deepening as on Friday its governing board resigned and the investors who had recently offered to pay some much-needed cash to keep the club out of financial trouble are backing out.

One day after the Super League imposed on Panathinaikos the deduction of three points for this season and two for the next as well as four games behind closed doors and a fine of over 250,000 euros, the emergency meeting of the board ended with almost everyone resigning and shareholders Andreas Vgenopoulos and Adamantios Polemis, as well as prospective investor Thodoris Vassilakis, asking for their money back.

Eleven out of the board’s 13 members tendered their resignation, with outgoing president Dimitris Gontikas saying that “we had no other option. Before anyone judges us, he should consider the conditions created. There are no guarantees for us to go on.”

There will now be an extraordinary general meeting of the club on April 18. The board is not worried about the inspection by UEFA on its finances on March 31.

“Panathinaikos has long been like a volcano ready to erupt,” said Vassilis Constantinou, one of the two board members not to resign, on Skai TV, explaining that “the shareholders care more about their egos than about the good of the historic club.”

A silver lining came late on Friday with the statement by minority shareholder Pavlos Giannakopoulos, who presides over the club’s basketball division, that “if it’s needed I will help the club.”

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