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SBD Global/August 5, 2013/International Football

Greek Football Club AEK Mirroring Nations' Current Economic Difficulties

The "bad economy is hurting" football clubs around Europe, according to Nektaria Stamouli of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. But for "Greece's storied but troubled AEK FC, the fall has been especially steep." Ousted from the country's Super League in April, the "beloved club slid into bankruptcy -- the result of years of what fans roundly criticized as bad management and excessive spending, compounded by the country's deep recession." Now, AEK "has found what it hopes to be a local savior: oil and shipping magnate Dimitris Melissanidis." Melissanidis said in July at a news conference where he introduced new managers and the start of ticket sales for next season, "We are starting from scratch and we are fated to succeed." He also predicted that "the club would be back in the Super League after two years." Melissanidis was in late July "still negotiating with other potential investors and he has yet to say how much he will put up himself" (WSJ, 8/2).
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