OFI President Nikos Machlas announced on Saturday the withdrawal of the popular Cretan club from the Super League, as the financial problems appeared too heavy to handle. He chose to say nothing about the recent years’ mismanagement of the club he inherited, but accused soccer authorities and other clubs of waging a war against OFI.
The former OFI, Ajax and Greece striker told an extraordinary press conference at Iraklio that the club is withdrawing to preserve its decency, in the face of the interests of the federation, the league, of other clubs and of the TV network that has the Super League rights.
“The masks have dropped in the war against our team. OFI was the easy victim for others to stay up comfortably. We have seen the Hellenic Football Federation decide against issuing documents for 20-year-old players to join OFI, for us to finish the championship in decency,” argued Machlas.
“We may now withdraw on our own free will. The OFI family will make its decisions by itself. We can escape the rot of soccer to become once again the team that everyone enjoys.
“They did not kill OFI off, they just humiliated it due to the safety clause by Nova TV, for fear of the league losing 2.5 million euros. It is a shame for everyone, it is a shame for soccer!
“It’s a pity that the team is leaving the championship, but on the other hand it is with satisfaction that we see the team leave this wretched soccer,” said the president of the club that would celebrate its 90th anniversary this year.
OFI’s withdrawal is leaving Greece’s top flight with 16 teams, as Niki Volou has also withdrawn for financial reasons.