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100 history and one misery that must go!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-04-13 08:28:13
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Too many times over the last few years I have written articles about the lethal responsibility of the billionaire owners of football teams and their potential to destroy the world’s most popular sport. Without any real sense of their actions and no understanding of what the teams mean to their fans, they have turned historic football clubs into products, products they commerce and profit from. Unfortunately for them the only clients of their product are the very same fans they ignore or they think they can manipulate.

I have often added that these people cannot ignore and mistreat the fans for long because the fans are the only ones who can actually hurt them exactly where it bothers them, their pockets! The phenomenon is not new, we have seen it in Brazil, and we’ve seen it in Argentina, in Germany, in Italy, and even in England. In Greece we have the worst possible example because the owner of the team didn’t only see the team as a product, didn’t only ignore the fans, not only has he gone against them blaming for his failure, but he has been proven incompetent to handle the task of directing.

The man hired the management of the team and handled it like he had to do with insurance salesmen. The man hired as the team’s manager a person who, after ending his playing career, decided to invest his future as an agent that represents football players. Naturally he found this a good field in which to practice his new trade and make his first money from the team with the incapable owner. He hired a series of coaches who had no idea where they had come – ones that used to coach teams of second and third division in their countries and never worked abroad - before turning the Greek team into a circus.

Instead of investing in players that could offer long-term solutions, he rented monthly mercenaries who came to Greece for the soft weather and the good food while waiting for an offer to play in any of the English, German, Italian or Spanish premier leagues and ignoring the fact that they played with the most historic team of Greece.

The people who solicited him were often fans of other teams and failures in their fields and obviously, thinking as a salesman, he added to them some so-called ‘journalists’ with an extra fee - that turned out to be his nemesis. These people gradually became his royal court, spending more time licking his ass instead of telling him the truth, so they turned the naked and incapable prince into the stupid jester of the court! The prince of the Vardinoyiannis family has become the jester of Greek football.

Unfortunately the team is Panathinaikos, the historic Greek team which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Panathinaikos is not just the Athenian team, it is the Greek team and it is the team everybody knows all around the world. It was the first ambassador of Greek football internationally and it is the team with so many trophies that other teams can only dream of. Most of all, Panathinaikos is the heart and soul of millions of Greeks all around the world, and these millions are the real owners of the team; everybody else is just a temporary director and nothing more.

Today, 13 April these millions are going to remind not only to him but to every owner of any football team that the real owners of the teams are the people who support the teams under any circumstances, even if that demand going against the owner to protect the history of the team. Panathinaikos fans are going to stand united against the worst enemy they had to deal out of the field all through their hundred year history and they are going to stand united for all the fans around the world which see owners treating them and their team as a product without a heart and soul.

Yiannis Vardinoyiannis must go now, not tomorrow, not in a year not in two years, just now. Every second he stays he is destroying Panathinaikos’ dreams and every second is another black mark on Panathinaikos’ history. If he wants to stay he must stand aside and let the ones who really know take over - when I say stand aside, I mean as far away as possible.

In our 100 years of history the man gave the fans the one worst possible misery and now it is time for him to give them the best 100th anniversary present by resigning and going back to his sport cars, at least there he can demolish everything he likes without hurting anybody else!

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Ζορμπάς2008-04-13 13:28:40
Fuck modern football.

Emanuel Paparella2008-04-13 15:16:32
Let's see if the above comment can be rendered in more civilized language: there is Umberto Eco’s unflattering description of soccer as a metaphor for meaninglessness and then there is Aristotle’s description of theater as catharsis and vicarious participation. After all, in the Roman coliseum people participated vicariously to the war games in which Rome engaged perpetually and periodically all over Europe. It is a fact that the early Olympic games in Rome featured twenty-seven men on a side who competed so vigorously that two-thirds of them had to be hospitalized after a fifty-minute game. It was a ritual of sort just as Greek theater sprang from the rites of Dionysius. The Renaissance being a rebirth of antiquity, in Renaissance Florence this Roman vigorous sport was imitated to the letter; in fact even today the game as the Romans played it is replicated once a year in Florence. Of course, people get tired of playing vicariously and often enough end up as active participants via hooliganism or barbarism pure and simple. The game then becomes more exciting. There was however a king in England (14th century) who considered himself civilized and would have none of the hooliganism coming from Italy; he was King Edward who passed laws threatening imprisonment to anyone caught playing soccer. King Edward's proclamation said:" For as much as there is a great noise in the city caused by hustling over large balls, from which many evils may arise, which God forbid, we command and forbid on behalf of the King, on pain of imprisonment, such game to be used in the city future." It would appear that such laws had little effect for indeed, try as one may, the Renaissance could not be stopped and it spread all over Europe surpassing Florence in soccer fanaticism.

Emanuel Paparella2008-04-13 15:19:54
P.S. Freud would probably explain the whole thing as sublimation: the outlet of aggressive insticts repressed by civilized life. Jung may have had it more on target: throw religion out the window and it will show up the back door. Ritual of some sort is important for both civilized and uncivilized people. The form it takes, that's another story.

Clint2008-04-13 20:23:17
Every sympathy Thanos, at the Toon we've had a few Muppets as well. Hopefully we are moving forward now and hope you do soon.

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