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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Panathinaikos in talks for a buy-out deal

End of an era or publicity stunt?


The president of Panathinaikos, Pavlos Giannakopoulos, has been saying for some time now that him and his brother are tired and they want to retire. They've been around for a long time leading Panathinaikos to numerous titles especially after they brought Zelimir Obradovic on board. But now the news that comes from the side of Panathinaikos are much different.

This was published today as an exclusive report by the Greek portal theplayer.gr and it says that the son of the president of Panathinaikos, is in the city of New York invited by the president of Galatioto Sports, Salvatorre Galatioto, in order to discuss the sale of the shares of the team to the new owners. Now these new owners are meant to be American investors and that this has been going on for the last 40-50 days that they have been discussing this.

The funny thing is though that theplayer.gr, is owned by Dimitris Giannakopoulos and he even got a statement from his father in the site to confirm the validity of the deal. However.. Greek sites and journalists started calling Mr Galatioto, who recently realised just how famous he has become. He did admit that he's only found out about the existence of Panathinaikos the last few days and that he hasn't actually met Dimitris Giannakopoulos but spoke to him on the phone once and that their "project" has just begun. No further comments. Mr Galatioto is one of the most famous "mediators" of sports business deals and his involvement adds validity to the story if nothing else.

It all points to a publicity stunt for more reasons that one and possibly as a leverage to involve someone else in the process. The article names "a wealthy family of shipowners" that want to get involved as well in the deal and their names will become apparent in the next few days, if they haven't become already. It also keeps the name of Panathinaikos in the spotlight and people guessing as to what happens next, especially what happens to all of the contracts of the team should the owners leave..



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