SPORTS

PAOK to get new sports center

The president of PAOK soccer club, Thodoris Zagorakis, yesterday announced plans for a new sports center in western Thessaloniki, at a leased plot some 20 kilometers from the city center. «This is a great day for PAOK. All levels of the soccer club, from the junior division to the professional squad will be housed here for 50 years,» said Zagorakis. The club has rented the plot for 25 years and has an option to renew the contract with the Municipality of Aghios Athanasios for a further 25 years. The plot covers 70,000 square meters and is located in the area of Nea Mesimvria. «Acquiring a sports center for the club has been a personal dream of mine and of all the people involved with PAOK. This is a very important development for the future of the club and we are particularly pleased about our cooperation with the local authority here at Mesimvria,» the PAOK president told the press during an on-the-spot presentation of the plans. More details will be released during a press conference later, but Zagorakis revealed that construction work will begin within the next couple of months. «There are already contacts with someone who will contribute financially, as we want to create something that befits the history of PAOK, although PAOK has not suddenly become rich. It still has huge financial problems and needs everyone’s support.» PAOK has also completed a loan deal with FC Porto that will see Vieirinha play at the Thessaloniki club for one year. The black-and-whites are also interested in securing Joao Paulo on loan from the Portuguese champions. Yesterday they acquired the rights to one of their best players of last season, Argentinean Ricardo Matias Veron, from his former club Siena.