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Worries growing at AEK

The situation at AEK soccer club is turning ever more dramatic, as the team is facing an uncertain future regarding its finances and administration. Despite expectations of a deal between major shareholder Nikos Notias and prospective buyer Bob Kozonis, a Chicago-based Greek-American businessman, talks in Florida are showing signs of breaking down. At the meeting held over the weekend, Notias said he was not convinced of Kozonis’s solvency, while the construction magnate issued an ultimatum to Notias and the rest of the AEK board suggesting that unless a letter of guarantee for the amount of 15 million euros is produced by them, he is withdrawing his offer to become the club’s major shareholder. The consequences of that were obvious back in Athens: The soccer club’s annual general meeting originally scheduled for yesterday was postponed until December 30, while dozens of angry fans paid a visit to AEK headquarters yesterday to express their disgust with the problems facing the club. Some of these dissenters left their mark with graffiti that attacked the current shareholders of the club, branding them indifferent to the team’s plight. Fans are also planning a demonstration. It now appears likely that, unless a solution is found in the next few days and with financial commitments pressing the board, the club will go into administration, with its administrators to be court-appointed. The alternative some sources are suggesting would be a fresh deal with banks in order to obtain cash immediately to pay the players who must receive money in the bank today, otherwise they are considering strike action.