SPORTS

Traianos Dellas succeeds Lienen on AEK bench

Former AEK Athens defender Traianos Dellas has been appointed as the club’s new coach until the end of the season, the Greek Super League team said late on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old, a Euro 2004 winner with Greece, takes over from German Ewald Lienen, who left the club on Tuesday.

“AEK Athens FC announces the start of its cooperation with the coach Traianos Dellas,» said AEK in a statement. «Mr. Dellas is a player who has written his own page in the history of AEK during his time with the club and he has agreed to take over the coaching role until the end of the season.”

The club also announced former AEK players Akis Zikos and Vassilis Borbokis would be assistant coaches.

Dellas made over 150 appearances for AEK in three separate spells with the club from 1999-2012.

AEK has been struggling in the lower reaches of the table for most of the season and Monday’s 2-0 loss at PAS Giannina means the ‘Yellows’ are one point above the relegation zone with two matches to play.

Lienen was appointed in October and initially guided the cash-strapped club to some positive results after it experienced its worst ever start to a season under Vangelis Vlachos.

But in the wake of their latest setback, the club have opted to change things ahead of Sunday’s vital clash against fellow struggler Panthrakikos.

AEK has been operating on a shoe-string budget following a period of financial turmoil in which virtually an entire first-team squad was sold off in order to secure a licence and preserve its top-flight status.

Club officials have been seeking new investors but, after the recent collapse of a potential deal with London-based investment bank Seymour Pierce, their efforts have been unsuccessful.

[Reuters]