SPORTS

Rehhagel to stay on Greece bench

Greece soccer coach Otto Rehhagel intends to take a pay cut and stay on the national team’s bench for two more years, according to a report in the Austrian press yesterday. Rehhagel, who announced his preliminary squad of 25 players for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa on Tuesday, had put off talks of a contract renewal until the end of the tournament this summer. The word then, in early March, was that Rehhagel was unhappy about any reduction in his salary, as the Greek federation had planned. Yet a report in the Kurier newspaper suggested that the 71-year-old coach will accept a 30 percent cut in his salary as part of the two-year contract the federation will offer him. «He sees no problem in it. In a recent interview, he said that even if he were to get twice as much money, he would still eat a steak per day and not two,» the Austrian newspaper reported. The Kurier further noted that the financial crisis in Greece has also affected the country’s soccer, «as Panathinaikos, AEK and Olympiakos have spent too much money in recent years and may now face problems.» Panathinaikos has reduced its transfer budget from 20 to 5 million euros for this summer, while Olympiakos and AEK intend to recruit mostly out-of-contract players.