Shipping-magnate and Olympiacos chief Evengelos Marinakis denies wrongdoing and is still in negotiations for purchasing English club Nottingham Forest.
British media are reporting Greek shipping magnate Marinakis, the owner of Piraeus-based team Olympiacos FC, is about to purchase 80 percent of the club.
Marinakis’ may have an impressive record, with Olympiacos crowned champions for six consecutive years and winning this year’s title by a record 28-point margin, however this has all now been questioned, and as a bail condition Marinakis is also currently banned from any “football activity” in Greece, leaving him the owner of an asset over whose running he has no say.
Marinakis has been charged with many offences, including bribery, fraud, extortion, match-fixing, and the bombing of a bakery belonging to an uncooperative referee and is in the middle of an investigation into corruption and criminal behavior throughout Greek soccer.
And if current owner Al-Hasawi decides to continue with the sale to Marinakis, there may be nothing the English Football League can do at this time, as he has yet to be convicted of any crime.
The rules of the English Football League state that the Football League Owners and Directors’ Test disqualifies those with an “unspent conviction” for corruption, fraud or perverting the course of justice in a court in England & Wales.
This is extended worldwide for those who receive custodial sentences of 12 months or more.
At present Marinakis has not been convicted of a criminal offence, only accused of five serious ones. He is not, apparently, banned from involvement in Greek football by the Hellenic Football Federation or other governing body, or by a professional body, but as a bail condition.
A spokesman for Forest told British reporters “The club will not be providing an official response on any potential individuals who may be investing in the club. However, the club can assure all supporters that any potential investment will be carried out with the full approval from all relevant governing bodies, to ensure the best outcome for Nottingham Forest.”