AEK strongman ignores court

Soccer club AEK’s «strongman» Makis Psomiadis, who runs the national soccer league’s current frontrunner without an official title, said yesterday that he would neglect Wednesday’s injunction handed to pay-TV channel Super Sport that allows it to resume televising the team’s games. AEK broke a broadcasting deal with Super Sport, a subsidiary of the team’s former owner, NetMed Hellas, to give its broadcasting rights to a rival station, Alpha Digital. Wednesday’s injunction obliges AEK to reopen its stadium gates to Super Sport’s crews as of January 20, when the team clashes with defending champion Olympiakos, until a final verdict is reached in court. After refraining from commenting when the news broke two days ago, Psomiadis appeared determined yesterday to continue his club’s broadcasting ties with Alpha Digital. «I’m not going to comment on the court’s decision. AEK declares that the only legitimate deal is with Alpha, and it will be maintained. The deal made AEK a great team, not a minor one as the previous owners had sought,» Psomiadis said. The contract with Alpha Digital is worth 10 billion drachmas over three years. To date, AEK has received the amount it is entitled to for the deal’s first year. NetMed Hellas President Lambis Tagmatarchis released a statement chastising Psomiadis for ignoring the court decision and calling on the State to «uphold the rule of law» and on soccer authorities to take note of AEK’s behavior. NetMed Hellas is also seeking an injunction against PAOK for an identical breach of contract. Yesterday, the AEK board was reshuffled to better reflect Psomiadis’s control of the club. His cousin, Harilaos Psomiadis, until now vice president, was elevated to the president’s seat. Philon Antonopoulos, the businessman who had, supposedly, acquired AEK over the summer, no longer sits on the board, strengthening the suspicions that he was a mere frontman for Psomiadis, who, having been convicted in a libel case, cannot head a professional sports club.

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