Panathinaikos scoops up Euro 2008 windfall
The decision by Panathinaikos’s board on Wednesday to spend up to 12 million euros in the January transfer period received a boost yesterday with the receipt of just under a million euros from UEFA. European soccer’s governing body paid 932,673 euros to Panathinaikos for the participation of its players in the finals of the European Championship last summer in Austria and Switzerland in accordance with the pact that UEFA had made with soccer clubs. Panathinaikos was the Greek club that benefited the most from this agreement as it had the highest number of internationals participating in the event. Olympiakos received just over 450,000 euros, AEK got about 270,000, while Larissa, Aris, OFI Crete, Panionios and Xanthi were also beneficiaries of the rule meant as insurance for the use of each club’s players. Meanwhile, Panathinaikos is chasing the signature of Brazilian Chelsea central defender Alex, according to reports in the British and Greek media. He is reported to have spoken with PAO coach Henk ten Cate and star midfielder Gilberto Silva about a possible move to Athens. A former Panathinaikos player, Greece striker Fanis Gekas is about to leave Bayer Leverkusen and can now choose where his future lies. This week two German teams expressed their interest in the player, as both Karlsruhe and Cologne want to sign him.