SPORTS

Happy end to Santos saga as AEK coach stays

League leader AEK’s Portuguese coach Fernando Santos, who had announced his resignation on Monday after disagreeing with management over transfers, agreed yesterday to remain with the club until the end of the season after a series of working conditions he had set were finally met. Santos was initially prompted to reconsider his decision after some 150 team fans weathered the freezing temperatures of recent days to venture out to his home in Kifissia, northern Athens, late Monday night before begging him to stay. A series of meetings with Makis Psomiadis, AEK’s «strongman,» beginning with all-night talks on Monday and concluding with a final discussion early Tuesday, yielded the deal fans wanted. Besides the club’s acceptance of Santos’s demands – managerial, not financial – Santos, too, committed himself to saying that he would not switch to another Greek club for the next 18 months. Following Monday’s resignation, rumors immediately spread that defending champion Olympiakos’s president, Socrates Kokkalis, was hot on his heels. «Following the meeting during the morning hours of Tuesday between Makis Psomiadis and Fernando Santos and further clarifications and explanations regarding (Santos’s) resignation, the working ties between the two sides have been reinstated based on the common good for the attainment of AEK’s objectives,» read a statement released by the club yesterday. Now that he is officially back in action at AEK, Santos’s first task will be to restore calm to the team’s ranks following the chaos of recent days. AEK leads the Greek national league with nine wins from its first ten fixtures. They added that all other buildings will be permanent structures.