Dimitris Giannakopoulos, the owner of the Panathinaikos Athletics Club and Basketball Club, has said that “Panathinaikos [Basketball Club] is for sale for 25 million euros.”
Giannakopoulos stated “Good evening, I would like to thank you for being here and wish you health and strength in the difficult times we are going through. All this time I have heard and read a lot about what I will say today. Some deserve an Oscar for a screenplay. The only thing I didn’t read was that I changed teams. And all this despite the fact that with a click on YouTube you would have gotten your answers,” he began his statement.
“Panathinaikos will not survive without the even greater support of its people. The only solution would be for the club to be self-sufficient and self-financed,” he continued.
He then explained how he and his family have invested over 450 million euros in Panathinaikos and that now it has become too much.
“So far, I have spent my entire life with Panathinaikos; this is difficult for me and it’s an emotional day. However, I am still Panathinaikos, and I will go to the stadium. Panathinaikos will continue to exist. I hope that the next buyer can make the club more profitable. Since my family took over the club in 1987, we have spent over 450 million on Panathinaikos,” Giannakopoulos added.
Giannakopoulos became the owner of Panathinaikos in 2012.
The Panathinaikos Basketball Club was established in 1919 and is a Greek and European powerhouse, having won 38 Greek league titles, six EuroLeague championships, 19 Greek Cups, one Intercontinental Cup and two Triple Crowns.
“With the price of 25 million euros, someone buys the most successful club in Europe, a team that will go to an event that can make the sport profitable and that is why I believe if we go to FIBA we will not need such a disbursement,” he said in commenting on leaving the Euroleague basketball competition.
“As long as we are in the EuroLeague, the income is very limited and the need for funding is great,” he added.
Giannakopoulos has often been an outspoken critic of the EuroLeague administration and had been fined numerous times.