Former Aris player agrees to take on coaching duties

Danish coach Ole Skoboe has agreed to take over the financially troubled Aris soccer club, a club spokesman said yesterday. «Skoboe has already agreed to coach Aris,» spokesman Dimitris Dragoyias said. Skoboe, 54, who played with the Thessaloniki club in the late 1970s and early 1980s, is expected to join the team today and attend Aris’s Sunday Greek League game against crosstown Iraklis. Dragoyias said the new coach would sign a six-month contract with a two-year option next week. He will replace interim coach Giorgos Pantziaras, who took over in August. Most recently, Skoboe has worked as technical adviser to the Danish club Vigorb. His first task is to prepare the team for next Thursday’s UEFA Cup game against Perugia in Italy. The club has been struggling to overcome a financial crisis, particularly after the withdrawal in the summer of an investor from the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi. Aris has launched fund-raising efforts among supporters to try to pay tax debts and players’ salaries. With a 2-2-4 record, Aris is 11th in the 16-team first-division standings with eight points. Defending champions Olympiakos Piraeus tops the standings with 21 points. (AP)