The president of AEK Athens
official supporters' club has dismissed claims that there are
plans afoot to downgrade AEK to the fourth tier of Greek
football to solve its financial problems as the club prepares
for a UEFA disciplinary hearing.
Cash-strapped AEK, who have been seeking new investors for
several months, were embarrassingly forced to have their Super
League match against OFI Crete postponed twice this weekend as
they were unable to secure tax clearance for the issuing of
The club faces a UEFA disciplinary hearing on Thursday over
its troubled finances.
The desperate situation has prompted reports that the club
is seeking to down-grade the team and purchase a new tax number
in order to survive.
"As president of the supporters' club I can tell you that
nothing of the sort has crossed anyone's mind, while as a member
of the executive board I assure you that something like that has
not been discussed - not even as a joke," Makis Kasnakidis told
Greek radio station NovaSport FM.
He added: "As a fan I would be ashamed if something like
that happened. It would not be the team I loved any longer."
AEK's fate in terms of potential sanctions could be more
severe than those imposed on Thessaloniki club PAOK last month.
According to Greek media reports, the club must find four
million euros before Thursday's hearing in order to avoid heavy
PAOK narrowly escaped harsh punishment from UEFA over its
debts after scrambling to improve finances with player sell-offs
just ahead of a disciplinary decision.
UEFA ordered PAOK to pay a 50,000 euro fine and the club was
given a June 30 deadline to further improve its finances.
An additional fine of 200,000 euros and a three-year
exclusion from European competitions was suspended until the
next UEFA review after that deadline.
It is not known when AEK's match with OFI Crete will take
place as all next weekend' fixtures have been postponed by the
Super League in protest at a new government sports law and the
delay by state-run betting compnay OPAP in signing up to
Meanwhile, the two-horse race between leaders Panathinaikos
and defending champions Olympiakos Pireaus continued over the
weekend with both teams recording victories.
Olympiakos cruised to a 2-0 home win over Panionios on
Sunday courtesy of goals either side of half-time from Jean
Makoun and Diogo to ensure their remain just two points behind
the Greens, who secured a solid 2-0 away win at Ergotelis in
Crete 24 hours earlier thanks to second-half goals from Simao
and Charis Mavrias.
Panathinaikos are on 52 points with Olympiakos on 52 and
fourth-placed AEK on 37.
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