Brothers give up on Olympiakos basketball side
Panagiotis and George Aggelopoulos announced their departure from Olympiakos.
Olympiakos Pireaus basketball club is currently up in the air as its owners, the Angelopoulos brothers, announced on June 27 their sudden departure, citing "backstage machinations" in the Greek game as their reason.
Panagiotis and Giorgos Angelopoulos, who began their involvement in 2004 and obtained a controlling stake in the club in July 2009, stated that during their tenure Olympiakos regained its credibility within, as well as outside, Greece - a parting shot at the previous owners, the Kokkalis family - and had paid $50 million in taxes. "It was our conscious decision not to become involved in any way with backstage dealings that influence teams and championships.
The kind of success that comes through machinations and referee favours does not constitute success to us," their statement read. "It is also our conscious decision that our relationship with all Olympiakos fans remains healthy and in the context of mutual respect," it added. Immediately after Olympiakos's loss to Panathinaikos in the league final series, a part of the press and of the Olympiakos hardcore fans had asked the Angelopoulos brothers to go. Reports over the previous days suggested that the players have not been paid for the last three to four months, while the final nail in the coffin appears to have been the revelation that Olympiakos forward Yiannis Bourousis allegedly discussed taking performance-enhancing drugs on the telephone with Kavala soccer club owner Makis Psomiadis.
This leaves both main Greek clubs, Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, with their owners discussing exit strategies, after the Giannakopoulos family also put up a 'for sale' sign on the European champions. Meanwhile, Greece captain Antonis Fotsis has agreed to join Barcelona, according to reports. The Panathinaikos forward, who was key in the Greens' Greek league and the Euroleague triumphs this season, is said to have reached a verbal deal with the Spanish champion.
The agreement is reported to total 2.5 million euros for the two years of its duration. It has been reported that he will be travelling to Spain on July 5 for a medical test and to sign his contract. This means Fotsis will be returning to the Spanish league, where he had featured previously as a Real Madrid player. His contract with Panathinaikos has ended and sources close to the player have suggested to the Greek press that Fotsis had received no request to stay on with the club. The only way that Fotsis could change his mind at the moment is if Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic attempts to talk him out of leaving the European champion. The two men, as well as club owner Thanassis Giannakopoulos, are set to have a meeting this weekend.
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