Olympiakos basketball club is currently up in the air as its owners, the Angelopoulos brothers, announced on June 27 their sudden departure, citing ?backstage machinations? in the Greek game as their reason.
Panagiotis and Giorgos Angelopoulos, who began their involvement in 2004 and obtained a controlling stake in the club in July 2009, stated that during their tenure Olympiakos regained its credibility within as well as outside Greece (a parting shot at the previous owners, the Kokkalis family), and had paid $50 million in taxes.
“It was our conscious decision not to become involved in any way with backstage dealings that influence teams and championships. The kind of success that comes through machinations and referee favors does not constitute success to us,» their statement read.
“It is also our conscious decision that our relationship with all Olympiakos fans remains healthy and in the context of mutual respect,» it added.
Immediately after Olympiakos’s loss to Panathinaikos in the league final series, a part of the press and of the Olympiakos hardcore fans had asked the Angelopoulos brothers to go.
Reports over the previous days suggested that the players have not been paid for the last three to four months, while the final nail in the coffin appears to have been the revelation that Olympiakos forward Yiannis Bourousis allegedly discussed taking performance-enhancing drugs on the telephone with Kavala soccer club owner Makis Psomiadis.
This leaves both main Greek clubs, Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, with their owners discussing exit strategies, after the Giannakopoulos family also put up a «for sale» sign on the European champions.