SPORTS

Water polo powers sink into relegation

In sports, it is not the history of a club, nor its clout, that counts in clashes with rivals, but the team’s present performance. The relegation of traditional powerhouses Glyfada and Panathinaikos to the national water polo league’s second division, and the survival of Panionios and Iraklis in the top league, come as solid proof. Moreover, the case of Panathinaikos, similar to that of Halkida two seasons ago, confirms that lucrative transfers do not necessarily forge a winning team. Instead, the formula of success lies in gradual team-building, an approach successfully implemented by clubs such as Vouliagmeni and Hania for many years. Glyfada – the winner of four league titles and three cups – had competed in the first division, A1, and had been a formidable component of the competition since 1976-77. The other former giant, Panathinaikos, took part in European competition both this season and last before tumbling to the domestic A2 division. Officials at both Panathinaikos and Glyfada are believed to be considering asking for the A1 league’s expansion. In Glyfada, officials attributed their relegation to excessive spending on the club’s new arena and not enough on the team.