Panathinaikos FC

Panathinaikos FC

Infobox Football club
clubname = Panathinaikos F.C.
current = Panathinaikos F.C. season 2008-09

fullname = "P.A.E. Panathinaikos"
nickname = "Prasinoi" (The Greens)
Trifylli (Trefoil)
founded = 1908
(as "P.O.A." [cite web |url= |title=Panathinaikos FC history|accessdate=|year=| ] )
ground = Olympic Stadium
Athens, Greece
capacity = 71,030 [cite web |url= |title=Athens Olympic Stadium|accessdate=2008-06-22| ]
chairman = flagicon|Greece Nikos Pateras
mgrtitle = Head Coach| manager = flagicon|Netherlands Henk Ten Cate
league = Super League Greece
season = 2007-08 | position = Super League Greece, 2nd
pattern_b1=_shoulder_stripes_white_stripes |pattern_ra1=_shoulder_stripes_white_stripes_half
pattern_b2=_shoulder_stripes_white_shirt |pattern_ra2=_shoulder_stripes_white_shirt_alt


Panathinaikos F.C. ( _el. Π.Α.Ε. Παναθηναϊκός), also known as P.A.O. ( _el. Π.Α.Ο.), is a Greek professional football club based in Athens, Greece. Founded in 1908, they play in the Super League Greece and are one of the oldest and most successful clubs in Greek football history. They have won 19 Greek championship titles, 16 Greek Cups and in 1971 they reached the European Champion Clubs' Cup final.

Panathinaikos F.C. was the amateur football department of Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos multi-sport club ( _el. Παναθηναϊκός Αθλητικός Όμιλος), the "Pan-Athenian Athletic Club", from which the club's other name, P.A.O., derives. In 1979 the department became professional and independent. They have played their home games in a number of fields, most significantly in Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, which is considered as their traditional home stadium, and in Athens Olympic Stadium. In 2008, the club announced the signing of a contract for the construction of its new stadium, Panathinaikos Athens Arena, the project has began in September 2008 and will be ready for the 2010–11 season.


Domestic competitions

*Greek Championship: 19 [cite web |url= |title=Greek all time champions|publisher=Hellenic football federation ] [cite web |url= |title=Greek Champions' history|publisher=Galanis Sports Data ]
** 1930, 1949, 1953, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1977, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 2004

*Greek Cup: 16 [cite web |url= |title=Greek Cup winners|publisher=Hellenic football federation ]
**1940, 1948, 1955, 1967, 1969, 1977, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2004

* Greek Super Cup: 3
**1988, 1993, 1994

International competitions

* European Champion Clubs' Cup: Runners-Up
* Intercontinental Cup: Runners-Up
*Balkans Cup: 1


The club was founded on 3 February 1908 as P.O.A. - Podosferikos Omilos Athinon ( _el. Π.Ο.Α. - Ποδοσφαιρικός Όμιλος Αθηνών), the "Football Club of Athens", when George Kalafatis and a number of athletes decided to break away from their athletic club, Panellinios G.S., and form a new one which would be dedicated to football.cite web

title=Panathinaikos celebrates today (3/2) their 100th birthday!

] A field at Patission Avenue was rented for training and playing purposes. The decision came after two years of Kalafatis lobbying the boards of Ethnikos G.S. Athens and Panellinios G.S. to establish a football department. The clubs were reluctant, grounded in the elitist view that football was a sport for the working class.cite web

title=Foundation and transformations of Panathinaikos

] Their first unofficial game was against the Piraeus-based Piraeikos, the predecessor of Olympiacos F.C., during the Athletic Games tournament in Trikala on September 1908; Piraeikos was beaten 9-0 by the fledgling club. The victory in Trikala attracted the first supporters to Kalafatis' team. In 1909 the first official Greek football tournament, the S.E.G.A.S. Cup organized by the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics, took place. P.O.A. finished third behind F.C. Goudi and Piraeikos.

In late 1909, after a dispute between a number of board members and subsequent exodus of some, Kalafatis, unable to cement his control of the board, decided together with most of the players to pull out of the club and secure a new ground at Amerikis Square. They changed their name to P.P.O. - Panellinios Podosferikos Omilos (Greek: Π.Π.Ο. - Πανελλήνιος Ποδοσφαιρικός Όμιλος), the "Panhellenic Football Club" and were afterwards followed by most of the board members and fans. In 1912, Oxford University athlete John Campbell was brought as coach,cite news

title=The "Golden Age" of PAO
publisher=Pegasus Publishing S.A.
author=Kyriazis, Christos

] until then Kalafatis had been both playing and coaching. The Englishman's impact was immediate as he introduced football skills and tactics not yet seen in Greek football, but considered rudimentary by English standards. It was the first time that a foreigner was appointed as coach of a Greek team. By 1914, Campbell had returned to England but the club was already dominating Greek football with players such as Michalis Papazoglou, Michalis Rokos, Loukas Panourgias and Apostolos Nikolaidis.

At the conclusion of the Great War, the name of the club was changed again to P.P.A.O. - Panellinios Podosferikos ke Agonistikos Omilos ( _el. Π.Π.A.Ο. - Πανελλήνιος Ποδοσφαιρικός και Αγωνιστικός Όμιλος), the "Panhellenic Football and Sports Club", because its athletes were by then competing not only in football but in other sports as well. In 1919, the club adopted green as its official colour and the Tryfilli as its emblem, as proposed by Michalis Papazoglou. [cite news

title=Do Panathinaikos Have Secret Irish Connections?
work=The Guardian

] By this stage, the club had outgrown both the grounds at Patission Avenue and Amerikis Square, due mainly to its expansion in other sports, and began to look at vacant land at Perivola on Alexandras Avenue as its potential new ground. After long discussions and serious problems an agreement was reached and in 1924 Leoforos Alexandras was finally awarded to the club.cite news

title=Our best moments...
author=Alexopoulos, Ilias

] The move to a permanent home ground also heralded another, final, name change to P.A.O. - Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos ( _el. Π.Α.Ο. - Παναθηναϊκός Αθλητικός Όμιλος), the "Pan-Athenian Athletic Club".

In 1926 the Hellenic Football Federation (H.F.F.) was founded and the first autonomous Greek Championship took place in 1927, replacing the S.E.G.A.S. Cup. Panathinaikos won only one pre-war Championship in 1930 under the guidance of Joseph Kinsler with Angelos Messaris as the team's star player. In 1931, a serious disagreement between board member Apostolos Nikolaidis and Messaris, which lasted two years, damaged the club and led to a counterproductive period. In the meantime the H.F.F. Greek Cup had commenced in 1932. The last bright moment before World War II was winning the Cup for the first time in 1940 against Aris F.C. (3-1).

Post-war performance was better and until 1965, they had won 7 Championships (1949, 1953, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965) and 2 Cups (1948, 1955). One of the most remarkable accomplishments was the undefeated season of 1963-1964 with Stjepan Bobek as coach.cite web


] Panathinaikos were twice crowned Greek Champions (1969, 1970) and won a Greek Cup (1969) before 1971, when they were European Cup finalists, losing 2-0 to AFC Ajax at Wembley Stadium. They remain the only Greek club that has ever reached a European final. In the same year Panathinaikos played for the 1971 Intercontinental Cup. In the last amateur days, P.A.O. won one Championship in 1972 and the Double in 1977.

In 1979 Greek football turned professional and the Vardinogiannis family, who are mostly known for their oil, media and entertainment enterprises, purchased the club's football department and George Vardinogiannis became president. Panathinaikos were one of the first Greek clubs that formed a women's team in 1980 but that department is currently inactive. The transformation period lasted a few years but in 1982 their first professional era trophy, the Greek Cup, put everything in order and they would go on winning 2 Championships (1984, 1986), 4 more Greek Cups (1984, 1986, 1988, 1989) and their first Greek Super Cup in 1988. In 1985, Panathinaikos had reached the European Cup semifinals, where they were thrown out by Liverpool F.C. (4-0, 0-1, aggregate 5-0).

The 1990s were a more successful period for the club, both nationally and internationally. Four Greek Championships (1990, 1991, 1995, 1996), 4 Greek Cups (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995) and 2 Greek Super Cups (1993, 1994) were awarded to the club. They reached the semifinal stage of the UEFA Champions League in 1996, when they faced AFC Ajax, recording a surprising first-leg away victory (0-1). However, they suffered a crushing 0-3 defeat on the second leg and were thus denied entry to the final once more. A long dry spell commenced after that year's European campaign.

In 2000 George Vardinogiannis stepped down. On September 2001, IFFHS voted Panathinaikos F.C. as World's Club Team of the Month. [cite web

title=World's Club Team of the Month
accessdate = 2008-03-17

] In Europe, they reached the quarter-final stage of the 2002 UEFA Champions League, losing 3-2 on aggregate to FC Barcelona, and the quarter-final stage of the 2003 UEFA Cup, losing 2-1 on aggregate to F.C. Porto. In recent domestic competition Panathinaikos' only success was the 2004 Double. Although they are the highest ranked Greek club in the official UEFA Club Ranking for the year 2008 [cite web

title=UEFA team ranking 2008
author= Kassies, Bert
work=UEFA European Cup Football

] , they finished third in the 2006 and 2007 Championship. Today the team's chairman is Nikos Pateras but Giannis Vardinogiannis, George Vardinogiannis' nephew, is the most significant person in the club given he is the majority shareholder. They compete in the Super League Greece and play their home games at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium. In 2008 Panathinaikos celebrates its centenary year.

The centenary crisis

Although Panathinaikos is celebrating its centenary, negative results over the years and some management decisions have created a crisis within the team which is still escalating.

Fans disarray with management

The unsuccessful results during the recent years in both domestic and European competitions have brought a great level of frustration to the Panathinaikos fans and especially the organised supporters of Gate 13. This led to vocal opposition against the management, since according to the fans they weren't investing enough financially in the club and the creation of the "Independent Gate 13", which was later renamed as the "Joint Operator of Gate 13 Clubs" ("Ενιαίος Φορέας Συνδέσμων Θύρας 13") [cite web |url= |title=Site of the Joint Operator of Gate 13 Clubs|accessdate=2008-04-16 ] . At the same time, a management-approved club was created under the name "Original Gate 13-1966" ("Γνήσια Θύρα 13-1966") [cite web |url= |title=Site of the Original Gate 13-1966 |accessdate=2008-04-16 ] and was the only club with access to tickets to the actual Gate 13 in Leoforos. Since the vast majority of fans did not want to join the management-approved club, match attendance fell to record lows, with less than 10,000 fans per game [cite web |url= |title=Supersport page on PAO |accessdate=2008-04-16 ] .

Media wars

There are currently three sports newspapers in Greece which support Panathinaikos. Among them, one is considered the voice of the management of the football club ("Derby Sports") and another the voice of the opposition ("I Prasini"), which also comprises the owners of the basketball club Pavlos & Thanassis Giannakopoulos. The third ("Athlitiki Icho") is not known to maintain a specific policy. Among the first two, it is usual for reporters to accuse each other of being paid employees of either the Vardinogiannis or the Giannakopoulos family. Fans have been involved in this dispute and tensions have grown very high.

The emergence of PEK

Following the grave defeat in the Greek cup by Olympiacos FC early in 2008 and Panathinaikos elimination, a team of businessmen led by Andreas Vgenopoulos announced the creation of "Panathenian Unifying Movement" ("Παναθηναϊκή Ενωτική Κίνηση, Panathinaiki Enotiki Kinisi") with the purpose to assist the club financially and organisationally. They pledged 1.5M euros for the amateur departments of Panathinaikos and asked the Vardinogiannis family to co-operate with them. Giannakopoulos brothers were present in the announcement and offered their support to the movement. Giannis Vardinogiannis refused to co-operate and considered this a take-over approach, restating that Panathinaikos F.C. is not for sale.

The April 13th march

After another grave defeat in Crete by OFI on April 6, and the apparent loss of the championship title, which most supporters believed the team had no option but to win because of its centenary, a march was announced for the following Sunday starting at Pedion tou Areos and ending outside the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium, with the sole purpose of asking Vardinogiannis family to sell the club. It was advertised mainly through mobile phones and internet forums. The march was considered successful by its organisers with estimates ranging between 25,000 and 40,000. The fans later complained about a media blackout, since pictures from the march were not broadcast to the mainstream TV channels and attributed this to the control Vardinogiannis family has over two major TV channels (Mega and Star).

Ownership model changed

On April 22, president and main shareholder Giannis Vardinogiannis gave a press conference in which he announced the decision of his family to reduce their share in the club to 50%, after 30 years of full ownership, through a 80 million increase of the company's capital stock. [ [ Press Announcement 22-4-2008] ]
Andreas Vgenopoulos, president of the "Panathenian Unifying Movement", responded later in the afternoon with a press release, stating his happiness for "seeing Mr. Vardinogiannis' decision to follow the right direction for the good of the club" and pronounced the start of the negotiations after the end of the Greek Easter holidays (April 28). [ [ PEK Press Release, April 22 2008] ]

Crest and colours

The crest and colours were first used by the club in 1919 when player Michalis Papazoglou, a Constantinopolitan, proposed that the club adopt the colour green with a shamrock ( _el. Tριφύλλι - Trifylli) as an emblem, as used by his Chalcedon-based former club of Chalkidona. The jersey colours are green and white, although the white sometimes is omitted, used as trim or as an alternative.

During the first years after the establishment of green as Panathinaikos' primary color, players were wearing green shirts, white shorts and green socks. Since then, the uniform style has changed many times but green has always remained the team's primary color.

Honouring the club's past and in part of the centenary season's celebrations, two new jerseys (home and away) were introduced on January 6 2008 [cite web |url= |title=Centenary Shirts |accessdate=2008-01-07| ] . A centennial year logo was also introduced, chosen via the club's website through a contest that took place within all Panathinaikos' fans in 2007. The logo combines Panathinaikos' traditional logo along with the number 100. It was designed by Nikos Karokis, an electrical-engineer and dedicated fan of the team [cite web |url= |title=Centenary Celebration|accessdate=|year=| ] .

History of the kit

Panathinaikos FC original home ground since the early 1920s was the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium in the Ampelokipi district in central Athens. The stadium is located on Alexandras Avenue and is most commonly referred to as the "Leoforos" (i.e. Avenue). It is considered the most historic in Greece as it was used by the Greek national football team as home ground for many years (most recently for the Euro 2004 qualifying matches) and even by Panathinaikos' biggest rivals, AEK Athens FC (for the 2002-2003 UEFA Champions League matches) and Olympiacos Piraeus (for friendly matches). Many world-famous sides such as FC Porto, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal F.C., Manchester United, Everton FC, Red Star Belgrade and others have succumbed to the fiery passion displayed by PAO fans.

Panathinaikos left the Leoforos in 1983 to play in the newly built Olympic Stadium of Athens. In 2000, the then club president Aggelos Philippides announced a return to Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, following a 7 m € renovation. Capacity was reduced from 25,000 to 16,620, new dressing rooms were built and modular stand roofing was added in compliance with UEFA requirements, but in 2004 stricter standards were announced and Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium would need further expansion were it to remain suitable for UEFA-sanctioned matches. This was precluded by local zoning regulations and the team had to return to the Athens Olympic stadium once more, until a new stadium, the Votanikos Arena, is built (projected for late 2008). The "Leoforos" ground is due for demolition and will become a park. A small section of the west curve spectator stands, the legendary "Gate 13", will be retained and house a small Panathinaikos museum.

In January 27, 2007 Panathinaikos Amateur and Panathinaikos FC decided to reuse Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium for the 2007/2008 Greek Super League season and UEFA Cup matches. Also, the club directors decided to install new lawn, new seats and upgrade the press conference room and all the rest rooms.


Former coaches

Cat see also|Panathinaikos football managers""As of 19 May 2008.

UEFA Club Rankings 2009

This is the current UEFA Club Rankings, including season 2008-09. Olympiacos is currently placed 36th and the higher ranked Greek team. [cite web|url= |title=UEFA Team Ranking 2009 | |date=2008-10-07 |accessdate=2008-10-07]

"Last update: October 7, 2008"


External links

;Official websites
* [] Official club website Gr icon en
* [ Panathinaikos FC] at the Super League Greece official website Gr icon
* [ Panathinaikos FC] at the UEFA official website en
* [ Panathinaikos Youth Academy] Gr icon

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