AEK’s fate was sealed on Sunday, as the historic Athens club that traces its roots to the Greek minority of Istanbul, suffered a 1-0 loss at Atromitos and got mathematically relegated regardless of whether it gets any points deducted for the game with Panthrakikos or not.
One week after the disgraceful abandonment of the match with Panthrakikos, that led to the Super League’s disciplinary committee decision to deduct three points from AEK’s tally, the Yellows lost all hope of staying up even if they get those points back on appeal as their loss at Atromitos in their last game of the season confirmed their top-flight status is no more after 89 years of history.
Given the club’s huge debts, it is highly unlikely that the team will play in the second division as it is, so it will either have to start from the third division, with a disadvantage of two points as well from the committee decision against it for next season, or merge with another club in Athens to relieve itself of its debts.
But that will no longer be the Athlitiki Enosis Konstantinoupoleos as formed back in 1924.
In stark contrast to the tears in the eyes of AEK players and fans, a few kilometers to the south, at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus Olympiakos celebrated its third consecutive league title and what it claims to be the 40th league title of its history.
The Reds defeated Panionios 2-1 and lifted the Super League trophy in front of some 28,000 fans – as the Olympiakos supporters surprisingly did not fill the stadium to capacity, in line with the jeering against the team and the club president in the last few home games due to unsatisfactory performances.
Olympiakos – by far the best team this season – won the title with a 15-point margin from second-placed PAOK, and had the league’s top scorer in Rafik Djebbour with 20 goals.
On Sunday it was Costas Mitroglou and Avraam Papadopoulos who were on target for the champion. Panionios’s goal came from a player who has agreed to join Olympiakos this summer, Andreas Samaris.
PAOK is the favorite to clinch Greece’s second spot in the Champions League next season, as it will enter the play-offs with an advantage of two points over Asteras Tripolis after downing PAS Giannina 2-0 on Sunday. Asteras came from behind to beat OFI Crete 2-1 at Tripoli.
The play-offs that start on May 15 will feature PAOK, starting from four points, Asteras, from two, and Atromitos with PAS Giannina that start on zero points.
Panathinaikos has missed out on Europe after 16 years, as it finished joint sixth with Xanthi beating Veria 3-2. Victor Vitolo scored twice for Panathinaikos while Habib Sow added the most spectacular one, while Honduran Carlo Costly scored a brace for Veria.
The only hope Panathinaikos still has to make it to Europe next season is if PAS Giannina fails to fulfill UEFA’s criteria for playing in European competitions for financial reasons. In such a case the Greens will fight out a play-off against Xanthi, that shared a goalless draw with Aris on Sunday.
Xanthi actually announced after the match that it will part ways with coach Marinos Ouzounidis this summer.
In other Sunday games Panthrakikos beat relegated Kerkyra 2-1 and Platanias down Levadiakos (2-0).