SPORTS

Saudi Prince to buy out Panathinaikos

Yiannis Vardinoyiannis and Saudi Prince Sultan al-Saud have reportedly agreed on the transfer of the Panathinaikos soccer club majority stake from the former to the latter, a move that is set to change the balance in the local game.

Reports suggest that the two sides are going to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) by October 31 and the process of the takeover will be completed towards the end of November at the general meeting of the club.

By then the Prince will have conducted a thorough check into the club?s finances and put 15 million euros in a bank account that will cover the forthcoming share capital increase of the club.

Sultan al-Saud?s representative and the man who is making the deal happen, Vlassis Tsakas, has been particularly vocal about the process and the plans of the new owner of Panathinaikos, suggesting that the Prince will head a fund that will own the soccer club.

He also suggested that if the Giannakopoulos family decide to sell their stake in the club?s basketball division, which is the reigning European champion, the Prince would buy that, too. His plan, Tsakas argued, is to create a ?Panathinaikos City? at Votanikos, where the club?s new soccer stadium is likely to be built by the Prince?s construction company.