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Tsartas is through with AEK

Several weeks after distancing himself from AEK because of the club’s inability to cover outstanding fees, star midfielder Vassilis Tsartas said he would not return as long as strongman Makis Psomiadis remained at the team’s helm. «Under the present conditions there’s no chance, not even one in a million, that I will ever again play with AEK,» Tsartas asserted yesterday. Psomiadis, the majority shareholder barred from holding an official post due to previous legal convictions, faced an end-of-year power struggle when other board members said they would reject the cash-strapped club’s financial statement at a general meeting just prior to the new year. But Psomiadis overcame the challenge by employing shady tactics against rival board member ENIC. The shareholder firm’s legal representative arrived on time for the meeting, but missed a brief voting session after he was led to another room by Psomiadis’s bodyguards. Tsartas also expressed disappointment over coach Dusan Bajevic’s neutral stance in the dispute with Psomiadis. «I definitely expected a different response from the team’s coach toward me. But, as for both Mr Bajevic and other individuals at AEK, I will speak candidly once this case is entirely over. I have plenty to say,» Tsartas said. Psomiadis, like the leaders of most Greek soccer clubs, appears unable to honor existing contracts with players. Greek clubs are still reeling from last September’s collapse of the Alpha Digital pay-TV channel which cost them an estimated 35 million euros in annual revenues. Tsartas said that he has not had direct contact with other clubs but admitted that his manager has already held talks with interested teams. The player added that he has ordered his manager not to pursue a transfer deal unless the case with AEK had entirely cleared. At PAOK, team captain Pantelis Kafes filed a law suit against the club yesterday, demanding 817,000 euros in unpaid fees. Teammate Giorgos Georgiadis had recently taken similar action before his demands were granted. Club President Giorgos Batatoudis is expected to hold meetings with disgruntled players in coming days.