Fans secure ownership of Panathinaikos

19 Jul 2012

Greek giant Panathinaikos has begun a new era under fan ownership after the ‘Panathinaikos Alliance’ group completed its takeover of the club.

Panathinaikos has won eight Superleague titles and 11 Greek Cups since 1979 under the control of the Vardinoyiannis family. However, the family has now agreed to transfer its 54.75% stake in the Athens club over to the Alliance. “From now on Panathinaikos belongs to its people,” said fans’ coalition group leader Yiannis Alafouzos, according to Reuters.

Alafouzos, who also owns the Skai media group, added: “I thank all supporters and stakeholders who have made this possible. The alliance represents the fans. We must learn from the losses incurred last year and start to build a new Panathinaikos. We also thank the players and the coach who agreed to delay their payments to make this a reality.”

The fans group was established in May and supporters have been able to become official members since July 2. Members have been allocated shares based on the level of their investment, but are only allowed the right to one vote in decision-making procedures. Reuters on Wednesday reported that the Alliance had raised over Eur1.6 million from 2,829 members. Panathinaikos finished runner-up to champion Olympiakos in last season’s Superleague. Olympiakos was crowned Greek champion after Panathinaikos failed in an appeal to overturn unprecedented sanctions imposed following March’s abandoned Athens derby. Panathinaikos was hit with the toughest sanctions ever imposed by the Greek Superleague following crowd violence during the game.