Panathinaikos in crisis as board resigns

The Panathinaikos board of directors resigned en masse after a stormy three-hour meeting today, plunging the Greek giant's into further crisis.

The dramatic turn of events followed a warning by the Super League's disciplinary committee that Panathinaikos were to pay the maximum penalty for last Sunday's riots during the derby clash with league-leaders Olympiakos at the Athens Olympic Stadium.

Olympiakos were awarded the match 3-0 [it had ended in the 82nd minute with Olympiakos ahead 1-0], with Panathinaikos deducted three points from this season and two points from next season. Panathinaikos will also have to play four home matches without any supporters as well as a fine of €252,500.

In addition, the club will have to pay an undetermined amount for the heavy damages to the Athens Olympic Stadium facilities.

At a press conference after the board of directors resigned, outgoing president Dimitris Gontikas said a general assembly meeting of shareholders will be held on 18 April to select a new board and to find a way out of the club's financial doldrums.

"We made a great effort but now there are no minimum guarantees to work with. With these developments we cannot do anything. I hope Panathinaikos will find its way," Gontikas said.

Another outgoing board member, Thanassis Giannakopoulos, said the club "is facing dissolution. I find it inconceivable that after 35 years at Panathinaikos I see ourselves in this situation. The ship is sinking. I cannot understand how we reached this point."

Panathinaikos are currently in second place in the Super League. In their 104-year history the club have won 20 Greek league titles and 17 Greek Cups.