Football

Future's bright at AEK Athens despite worst ever start

AEK Athens fans hope to see their club back in the big league as soon as possible. (©GettyImages)
AEK Athens fans hope to see their club back in the big league as soon as possible. (©GettyImages).

AEK Athens, or Queen as its nickname, is among the top four clubs in Greece. Current champions Olympiacos, Panathinaikos FC and PAOK FC are the rest.

Last season was a complete disaster for the club both inside and outside the football field. Inside the football field the club did not manage to avoid relegation for the first time in its history to the second football division of Greek football.

Outside the field the club faced severe financial problems. As a result of these problems AEK S.A. declared bankruptcy and amateur AEK relegated to Football League 2, the top amateur division club in Greek football.

AEK seemed to be doomed but Mr. Dimitrios Melissanidis decided to step up. Melissanidis won the elections of amateur AEK and became the owner of the club.

Melissanidis, a Greek business shipping magnate and oil tycoon, has served as AEK president during seasons 1992-1993 and 1994-1995 and also in season 1998-1999 but then ENIC Group was the shareholder.

Melissanidis was born in Athens but his family came from Caucasus in Pontos. AEK is also club that attracts its origin in Constantinople and it has massive popularity among the descendants of Greek refugees and Melissanidis is one of them.

Since this summer that Melissanidis took over AEK, he managed to attract large sponsorships for the club like the one from Greece's gambling monopoly OPAP, the deal with Fujitsu and the sponsorship with Greek Telecommunication company Nova Sports.

Furthermore, Melissanidis unveiled plans to build a new proprietary stadium in Nea Filadelfia, Athens in the exact place where the old stadium of AEK was.

The design of this stadium will be under the famous architect Massimo Majowiecki, who was in charge of designing the new home of FC Juventus.

Melissanidis gathered around him Dusan Bajevic, a former player and the most successful manager in AEK's history, as the head department of the club while former great players of the club have been taken over crucial places.

Traianos Delas as head coach and Vassilis Borbokis as his assistant, Nikos Lyberopoulos as Technical Director, Vassilis Dimitriadis as Team Manager and Michalis Kasapis as head scouter are a few of them.

In addition to all these Melissanidis has already made some transfers for the following season and he is looking to attract the best youth players to sign with AEK for the years ahead, thus preparing a roster that can be competitive as soon as the club returns in Greek Superleague in two years time.

After all these fans are extremely excited and optimistic about the near future of the club. They show their dedication to the club in every occasion given and they support their team no matter what.

As a proof of this in every AEK's home match twenty to twenty five thousand people are on the stands chanting about the Greek queen.

So great things ahead for AEK in a time that Greek football needs all the help it can get more than ever before.

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