As Turks look across the Aegean to Greece, you would not blame them for thinking “so this is what Europe brings”. Forget it! Fresh from their own financial irregularities the economic status of football in their neighbour’s Country is poor too.
Most of the top teams have hardship, the knock on effect from an economy out of control. Austerity measures prevail meaning big signings are a thing of the past. Apparently, Super League clubs have reduced spending on players’ contracts this season by circa 50%. The biggest, AEK Athens and PAOK Thessaloniki have needed more draconian measures to enable survival.
The financial situation was actually so bad that the League nearly didn’t start back in August. Ironically, some good may come of the necessity to change as ‘home grown talent’ appears the only way forward. The Greek hierarchy has commented: “the days of overspending on high-profile foreign players like Rivaldo, Djibril Cisse, Gilberto Silva and Eidur Gudjohnsen are over”.