Thursday, December 30, 2010

AEK in big trouble

Some people were saying it was only a matter of time.

Things are bad for AEK, really bad, but that's not really news. Things have been bad for AEK for quite some time now, a few years to be precise. The only thing that kept AEK going is the team's history and the general lack of organisation that has sadly become the trademark of the Greek league.

AEK is one of the clubs in Greece that wouldn't normally be playing in the pro league but in the semi-pro/amateur lower divisions in the vast majority of European nations. The main reason would be because they have ridiculous amounts of debts to players and also to the Greek Tax Services and hence they would never in theory manage to collect all the necessary certificates and documents. However they are supported in a zombie-fashion by the Greek federation and the League's president.

Just to be clear, I've got nothing against AEK. It's one of the oldest clubs in Greece with lots of fans. However they are a prime example of many things that are wrong in Greek basketball. At the moment in AEK there is only the president of the team, as all the members of the management board have resigned. The reason being is that the latest instalment of the TV contract that AEK has went to old tax debts of the team and not to the players. Hence some players have been paid but most haven't.

Anthony Grundy is still back in the USA and he won't get on a plane until he is paid and Terrell Castle is not participating in the practice sessions until he is paid as well. Most of the Greek players of the team are still unpaid and the news that the latest batch of money went to pay old debts instead of current salaries weigh heavily upon the team. On a merrier note, Patrick Sparks was convinced to return to AEK and they're not too crazy about having Grundy back because his contract is too high for them anyway. Obviously this is a gamble because he has been their best player so far.

So in this state they're going to play their next game against Iraklis, another team in lots of troubles, that probably see this as a great opportunity to get their foot back on the door of the league. The questions are now if more players will abandon the team and will they actually avoid relegation this time round..

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