Determined to succeed in a “grey” environment like that of Greek football, says Yannis Alafouzos in an interview with off the pitch. “As a human being, I don’t like to fail“, emphasizes his powerful man Panathinaikouwhile adding that he wants to leave the stadium and the team’s training center as a legacy.
At the same time, he mentions the huge sums he has thrown into the team over the years he has been in charge, adding that this year with her return to the European groups and with the prospect of the new stadium the budget will become more balanced. In fact, he revealed that he has accepted strike by betting company for sponsor naming of the new stadium or even the Avenue!
Finally, talk about her corruption that exists in Greek footballthe battle for the control of the EPO and by extension the arbitration, while pointing out that some steps have been taken in the direction of purification but the problem remains.
In detail, Yannis Alafouzos spoke about:
-the team’s finances and the amounts it has invested in Panathinaikos: “Every year, the club has 16-18 million euros in revenue: 3-4 million from tickets, 9 million from television rights, another 2-3 million from sponsors and then there is 1.5 million from the share of government from the bet. But this is never enough to avoid damage. Some years it can be 7 million, others 15 million euros. The very existence of the club basically depends on the inflow of money from the owner every year. And he’s a fool! The amount of money I put on Panathinaikos is extreme. I estimate that since 2012 I have invested 120 million euros in the club to cover the losses. This year it will again be a significant amount. Not as much as last year though, because we have a much bigger income. We will not have a balanced budget, but we are closer to it, mainly because of the participation in Europe.”
-if his family complains about the money he invests in football: “One of the reasons I rarely admit the amount they’ve put into the team from me is because it upsets my family, because I have children too. Anyway, they’ve accepted it and I’m doing my best to take care of them too. So I don’t have any major issues. This is extreme, in a world with so many problems… This money could have been used for other purposes.”
-how much the new stadium will improve the financial image of Panathinaikos: “It will increase our revenue significantly to have a bigger stadium. For example, I have already been approached by a betting company to ask if I would be interested in sponsoring the new stadium or even perhaps our existing stadium in anticipation of the new one. So, I believe that our income will increase significantly when we go to the bigger stadium. To give you an idea of Panathinaikos’ popular base, when we were doing well in the 2000s, we had between 27 and 33 thousand season tickets. We have a large popular base for Greek data, which could provide more revenue. But at the moment we have a small stadium”.
-the lack of many good Greek players: “I do not know what happened. Until 2012 we had good players in Greece. Now the situation is alarming. Of course the world may love the foreign players, but we need the Greek stars. If there isn’t an owner, who for whatever reason has the ability to throw money into the club, you can’t be competitive in transfers.”
– the connection of Panathinaikos with its fans in the diaspora: “We have not been able to utilize the multitude of our fans abroad. But in 1-2 years we will start to be able to sell our games ourselves directly to our fans abroad, which will be a way to have a greater connection with our popular base outside of Greece. That’s all we can do. Every year we have people come almost every game week from New York, Germany, Australia and they want tickets to a game, because they are here on vacation and they want to come and see a game. But this is the biggest link we have with them.”
-corruption in Greek football, the EPO and refereeing: “Why do people care? Because the federation appoints the referees. He appoints them, they bring referees from the second division to the first division, etc. So the referees know that if they do not favor a certain team, they will not have the opportunity to officiate many games. There are 55 football associations across the country. If you control the majority of them, you control Greek football. It is very easy to influence the majority of these 55 people financially. There are other ways. There have been kidnappings during the voting. Someone is threatening to kidnap your children and put them in a warehouse to make sure you vote for the right person. The referees themselves have become a target. The violence has been focused on them. They have been attacked, a referee had his hands broken. An environment of inherent corruption has been created. The government is well aware of the situation, but FIFA rules on self-governance in football mean that political interference is limited. So if you have a corrupt system, it reproduces itself.”
-why he insists on trying in a corrupt environment: “I’ll tell you… As a human being, I don’t like to fail. When the stadium and training center are finished, it’s something I want to leave to the next generation. Beyond that, we are working hard to make Greek football fairer. And we have achieved some things in this part. But the world only wants you to win. They don’t really care how you win, sometimes.”
Source: Sport Fm
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