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The history of Panathinaikos


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Part I

"Panathinaikos Forever"

How it all began

The congregation took place in a small room at the Horse-riding Club of the Panellinios G.S training facilities, and the "mutiny" that Giorgos Kalafatis was preparing for two years, was sealed. Forty athletes from Panellinios, after a three-hour discussion decided to break -away from their club and create a new one, which in the beginning would only have one sport: Football.

The voting for the decision did not last more than ten minutes. Things had been agreed before hand anyway. The big discussion was what the club was going to be named. There were many proposals, but even more was the consideration of the names and the disagreements. The basic characteristic of Kalafatis and his friends was that they were all from aristocratic families of Athens whom where rich and well known in their "close circle" at that time. The name that was originally chosen was that of "Podosferikos Omilos Athinon" (POA). That name was later to evolve into "Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos"(PAO). The club introduced football to Greece, but also made Greece well-known abroad, not only through football, but through the other sports the club practices. On the 15th of May, 1908, maybe none of the founding members that were leaving that small room, ever imagined, that with their unanimous decision, they had began a creation that in just a few years would put thousands of people in motion, many of which would make their life synonymous to Panathinaikos. In Panathinaikos' creation, the members that first began the motion apart from the Kalafatis brothers, where Periklis Boubalis, Dimitris Doukakis, Mr Paschos, Mr Demertzis, Mr Reppas, Mr Sapounas, Mr Granotsas and others. The first president of POA was Alexandros Kalafatis and his first job was to find a ground where the team could play.

The 1st home ground.

It didn't take long for Kalafatis to find a home ground. He actually rented a piece of land on Patision St. (A.S.O.E.E is situated there today). The pitch was smaller than the lengths of a normal football pitch, but it was a start. He himself, with the help of his friends and some of the locals arranged to transform this farm yard into a "football pitch". They flattened it, found some posts for the goals and built a small shack in order to be used as the clubs office. The first "stadium" had been built!! It's first footballers though-all being young- did not yet have proper shoes to wear. The next priority would be to find someone that would finance the club.

The first funds

Marinos Marinakis was a man that had travelled all over the world and had lived a good life. Being rich he had lived in England where he learnt to love sport and he knew quite a bit about football. He had once been a member of the Ethinkos G.S board and had faced similar problems as Kalafatis had at Panellinios when he proposed to create football team. See, in those times, football was regarded as a barbaric sport only for the masses and not the "high" citizens of Athens and Piraeus. He learnt about the transformation that had undergone at Patision St at the Karapanos place, inspected it and was convinced by Kalafatis to fund his efforts.

The clubs First game

It is hard to determine with who POA play its first game, but its first official game is thought to be in 1908 in Trikala, for the Panthessalian games, in the unofficial events. POA defeated Piraikos 9-0. That victory against such a historic club, at that time, made Kalafatis and Marinakis decide to get the team a kit that it would wear on a regular basis in order to distinguish itself. Until then, POA would play in different colours in each game.

It is of importance though, to mention an anecdote that once occurred on the Patision St ground. POA where playing an unofficial game when in a nearby field a farmer held a bull. After a few minutes, with the POA players running around in red shirts, the bull "saw red", broke the barriers and charged whoever he saw on the pitch wearing a red shirt, the players started running for their lives and throwing their shirts behind them and so did some of the fans that were wearing red that afternoon!!! The red shirts -because of that incident- were never to be worn again. It was to be become the adopted colour of Panathinaikos' biggest rival, Olympiakos who was to be formed later on, in 1925.

In 1910, some disputes arose between the board members, almost dissolving the newborn club and after a few of them left, POA was renamed to Panellinios Podosferikos Omilos (PPO) with Kalafatis and Marinakis remaining at the helm. A new home ground was found, situated today at "Amerikis" square, which was cleared and transformed into a football pitch.

The first foreign coach

Until 1912, Giorgos Kalafatis would coach the team. In Greece's first official league PPO was victories winning the tournament. One of the victories was against Piraikos who PPO beat 11-1. That had seismic consequences at the time since the team from Piraeus, were greatly respected. In the spring of 1912, one of the best known English athletes, John Campbell, from Oxford University came to Greece, met with Kalafatis and agreed to take on the position of coach. He stayed at the PPO for two year and the impact his presence made was tremendous, not only for PPO but for Greek football as a whole since he taught Greek footballers o hold their positions, to cross the ball and head it. He also took on in introducing and teaching other sports to the club such as boxing, fencing and the long jump. In 1914, John Campbell returned to England and was to comeback to Greece two months later, but he suffered a serious accident and stopped sport altogether. His chapter in Greek sport ended before he could offer more. He is still remembered.

The 3 personalities

In between 1911-14 there were 3 personalities which stamped and sealed their names into PAO folklore where:

* Michalis Papazoglou, born and bread in Constantinople, Turkey where he was an athlete. Fell in love with football from the moment he was introduced to it, his fame reached Greece before he did. His name appeared in the Athenian press as "the one that is teaching the Turks football".

*Michalis Rokos, also from Constantinople, came to Athens in 1909 and started playing for PPO. In a short time he had become famous and was named as one of the hero's of Greek football. After he retired, he remained close to the club and

was the general secretary for many decades.

* Apostolos Nikolaidis also came to Athens from Constantinople in 1914. No one knew that his arrival would make such an impression for Panathinaikos' history. After his retirement, he was to become the club president for many decades. Leoforos Alexandas stadium was to be renamed to "Apostolos Nikolaidis" after his death. He also happened to bring Loukas Panourgias to the club, who happened to have a team called "Niki" (Victoria), who had gone bankrupt. He managed to persuade him to get all the players and himself to sign for PPO. This move made PPO very powerful at that time.


This was a period where most of the clubs activities died down, as they did for most clubs in Europe. Many PAO players were conscripted. For two years the club did not participate in any games. Kalafatis though was thinking for a while now, about the clubs emblem that did not exist. Her told Papazoglou, Panourgias and Nikolaidis to come up with a proposal. In 1919, at a board meeting they made a presentation of:

a) colour of the team: Green

B) emblem of the club: Three-leaf clover

c) New name of the club: Panellinios Podosfairikos kai Agonistikos Omilos (PPAO)

Papazoglou had come up with the idea from the club he would exercise with in Constantinople, which was called "Chalkidona" and had the emblem and colours he proposed. The proposal was unanimously agreed on.

Matches in Paris

After WW I, The "Allied Games" were organised and as Greece, was on the side of the victorious in WW I. Greece was also invited to compete in many sports apart from

football which was a decision taken by SEGAS (Greek Sports Authority). After Kalafatis heard that, he asked if PPAO could represent Greece in football, with a few other players from other clubs and that the club would take care of part of the expenses. SEGAS agreed. The team consisted of 6 PPAO players, others from, Salonika and other Athenian clubs.

The Greek team with the support of the Greek emigrants in France lost 4-0 to Italy, 9-0 to France and beat Romania 2-1. In the last game, Yugoslavia did not come to play and Greece was awarded the victory by default.

The battle for Leoforos.

The land on Patision St was starting to get smaller and smaller from all the sports PPAO was practising, so Kalafatis went out to find a new piece of land. He found "Perivola" at Leoforos Alexandras, but there were problems since the council would not allow PPAO o use it. The disagreements went on for a while and solution was finally given by Prince Nicholas, who gave PPAO the "OK" to carry on. Trouble then arose with refugees from Asia Minor, who wanted to squat there. The PPAO athletes with Kalafatis would give daily battles to save their ground and after a while PPAO won the "fight" and the refugees where moved elsewhere.

Forth name change

Two things occurred in 1924. First was, Leoforos been awarded to PAO to use On a regular basis and secondly, the club changes its name to Panathinaikos Athliticos Omilos

(PAO), the name it is known by, today world-wide.

The same season, PAO won the league of Athens (5 games, 5 wins) and then for the National title beat both teams from the league of Salonika.

That season was the one in which PAO played it's first ever game against a foreign team. PAO lost in front of 7.000 fans (record at that time) 5-1 to Yugoslavian club, Beogradski. A season later, PAO together with Olympiakos and AEK Athens fell out with EPO (Greek football Federation) and where banned

from playing other Greek teams. PAO then went on a tour abroad playing against Gradjanski (Yug) losing 2-1, but a few days later would register its first victory against Lefski Sofia by 2-1. PAO invited and played another 3 teams. Arsenal

of Egypt (3-5), Harvatski of Hungary (2-4) and Bitok (Yug)


With Hungarian style

In the summer of 1928, PAO was to participate in it's first official Greek league and looks for someone in Europe to coach them. The Hungarian Milko Forner was chosen. But the league was to fall apart again and not be held. Forner worked very hard at that time scouting and signing the best Greek players. He had an injury and retired, giving his place to Joseph Kinsler, a compatriot of his. The following in year

(1929) PAO was unplayable and won the league unbeaten.

The "Eternal Enemies"

The intense rivalry between PAO and Olympiakos had began a couple of years earlier, mainly due to decisions of both trying to manipulate EPO in their favour. But these differences had more to do with administration than on a competitive

basis. In 1930, on the 1st of June, PAO were to play Olympiakos at Leoforos. A week earlier, Greece had been thrashed by Romania 8-1 in the Balkan Cup, where the team was totally comprised by Olympiakos players apart from two

that were playing for Salonica clubs. When the team returned from Bucharest the PAO fans assaulted the Greek team officials for the reason that they did not include and PAO players and secondly for the shame they had brought to the nation. The game was to start at 5:30 but was full 4 hours before play. 10.000 fans had been packed like sardines in the tiny Leoforos to watch this game with great interest because of the build up of what had happened with the Greek NT's arrival.

Before the game, the PAO fans where taunting their counterparts continuously by collectively counting from

1 to 8. Italian referee Barlascina, was called to referee the game as neither side trusted Greek referees, whom they thought could easily be "influenced". PAO went on to thrash Olympiakos 8-2, with legendary Angelos Messaris

leading the team with 2 goals and 4 assists. The PAO fans celebrated all evening and even the Mayor of Athens, gave order for the city to be luminated for this great victory

over Piraeus. PAO had just drawn 1st blood.

A week later PAO travelled to Salonika to play Aris. 3.000 PAO fans followed the team to Salonica via steamboat and another 2.000 Olympiakos fans also travelled with a different boat to support Aris. PAO wins 4-1 and on the way back to Piraeus, the two boats docked next to each other and fights broke out between the two parties for the first time in the history of the clubs. On the 15th of June the return game was to be played in the Velodrome of Piraeus but the game was postponed twice since the Police Commissioner of Pireus could not guarantee the safety of the fans. It was finally decided for the game to be played in Salonica in order to avoid the fans from fighting. Fights were not avoided thoug. PAO won

2-1. After the end of the game fights took place in Salonika ,in the trains the fans were travelling with and on the boats.

After that, Panathinaikos and Olympiakos ties where to become the "salt and pepper" of Greek football.

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Part II

The Dark days

Angelos Messaris was the player that had made the club so strong and dominant from 1927-30. In 1931 though, in a turn of events, he fell out with PAO president Nikolaidis and left the club. It was said that in a disagreement Nikolaidis struck Messaris who vowed never to play for the club again. Many of his team-mates were so angry with the PAO president that they stopped playing in support of their team-mate. Nikolaidis then struck -off not only the players but Kalafatis and other

board members as well who took "Messaris' side". The son of the mayor of Athens, Stamatis Merkouris, wanted to become PAO president but did not win the board elections. He then

created a new team called "Prasina Poulia"(Green Birds) and signed the PAO players that had left the PAO. PAO disintegrated into nothing. The following year, the team did terribly in the league suffering heavy losses.A year later, the players that had left, returned after finding a solution with Nikolaidis, but Messaris kept his word and never returned

to play again officially for the club. The events of the disagreements, was to put PAO so behind, that the league would not be won for another 20 years.

In the shadow of Olympiakos

The "Green Birds" may have returned but the good climate that existed in 1930 never returned. Kinsler remained as coach, signing the best of players available but could not "gel" a team that was good enough to challenge Olympiakos for the league. This was the time of Panathinaikos' biggest rival, Olympiakos. They won the most leagues, gaining the most supporters thus having bigger gate receipts and becoming richer. The bad luck, was topped in the worst of ways when PAO lost a derby to Olympiakos by 6-1. Then tragedy struck in 1938, when in an PAO- AEK game Lysandros Dikeopoulos collided in an aerial challenge with AEK's Tasos Tzanetis. The PAO player was knocked- out cold falling into a comma. He died 3 days later of a brain haemorrhage.

In 1940 though, PAO managed to win its 1st title in 10 years by beating Aris Salonica in the Cup final by 3-1.This title was much needed for only for the clubs honour, but for the fans that had waited patiently for some success.


Greece enters the war and many PAO players are called up to serve their duty against the Italians in the mountains of Albania and against the German-Bulgarian forces on the Greek- Bulgarian border. The clubs activities stopped during that time and Leoforos had been transformed into a hospital and storage facility. Mimis Pierakos a player that had served the club as a player for years, known as "Brak" to the fans of PAO, was killed on the Greek-Italian front fighting for his country's freedom. Games were now seldom played. After the German invasion in 1942 all sporting life in Greece seized to exist. Football grounds were now only used by the German, Italian and Austrian occupying forces.

During that time, an organisation was organised by Athletes to compete and raise funds for their fellow sportsmen that were suffering and dying of VB. The players of PAO and AEK organised to play a game at Leoforos and a committee went to speak to Nikolaidis to use Leoforos, but also ask for a proportion of the money raised from the ticket sales to be donated to their co-athletes that were dying and seriously ill. Nikolaidis arranged the game to be officiated by an Austrian occupier, disagreed with both donating money from the gate receipts and also the PAO and AEK's proposal to be officiated by a Greek. Leoforos, had been packed with 15.000 fans who were waiting for this game with great excitement. The PAO and AEK players went out to the pitch and told the fans what had been said between them and Nikolaidis and the PAO board. The fans, went ballistic and stormed the pitch. They chanted in favour of the players and against the board of PAO. The stadium was literally raised to the ground by the enraged public. The Germans feared a revolt and send in many of their units. The mob broke itself up when it saw the Germans gathering machine guns outside Leoforos.

The players did not quit their attempts to raise funds for their colleagues and the players of PAO, Olympiakos, AEK Athens, Appolon Athens arranged a mini-league to be played at Kesariani, which had great success and where the fans where able to see their favourite players once again. The funds raised saved hundreds of athletes lives.

The last game PAO played before the occupying forces left was against the British airforce. This was 1 week before the Germans left. This game was treated as a celebration for as freedom was now in the air and through out the game the fans

where waving Greek, British and American flags.

After the Occupying forces left, Greece was torn by civil war between the Communists and Republicans. No league was held until 1948.

The battle of Piraeus

In 1948, in the new league that was organised by EPO, PAO seemed very strong with a new coach this time. An Austrian by the name of Strand. PAO beat Olympiakos by 3-1 at Leoforos and now had to face their rivals in Piraeus. If PAO

won, they would win the league. Olympiakos were leading 1-0 until the 82nd minute when a tackle by a PAO player injured an Olympiakos player. The Olympiakos fans stormed the pitch and with canes and stones attacked the PAO players and offcials. Everyone was expecting PAO to be awarded the points for the fans invasion but the opposite happened and the reds got the win by 2-0 (default victory). Aris was now to decide the league champion. The "reds" easily beat

Aris by 4-1. PAO then, in their game against Aris were leading 1-0 until a referees decision went against them and the Aris players assaulted the referee. The game was awarded to PAO (2-0 on default) and to win the league now, PAO had to beat Aris 2-0 in Salonika to clinch the title on goal difference. On the 24th of July, after the decision of EPO to award the game of Leoforos to PAO, Aris in protest, fielded their reserve team. PAO won 2-0 and were champions again after 19 years!!!

In the next couple of years PAO did not win any league but played several games with foreign teams. PAO played against Rapid Vienna, (2-1,1-3,0-1), Galatasaray (5-2), Lille (3-0), an Ethiopian 11 (6-1) and Turkish Pera Club(2-1).

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Part III

Part II

More blood, more money

1952-53 PAO made some moves that would make him a top team in Greece for the years to come. New President, Moatsos, whom was very wealthy brought to Leoforos the best players in Greece at that time. An Englishman by the name of Harry Game is appointed as coach, who would bring new tactics into Greek football. The only thing he asked for, was the board not to make any interventions on who plays, or what tactics the team was to follow, which happened to be a trait of most club presidents at that time (and for some.. still is today). Leoforos' capacity was to increase to 18.000. This was to allow the club to gain extra funds, pay the players wages and make better signings for the years to come. The players that were regarded as amateurs, were taking about 33% of the gate receipts.

On the 21 June, 1953, PAO needed at least a draw to clinch the title. 25.000 fans were packed into Leoforos to see PAO draw 0-0 with Olympiakos to clinch the title. A new record in gate receipts was made.

Powerful but unlucky.

After that last title, it would take PAO another 7 years to win the league, which was to be the time its eternal enemy was to create a new record winning 6 leagues in a row. PAO would do well, challenged to the last day, but would fall at the final hurdle.

Gljsovic's influence

It is characteristic that, for 3 of those seasons PAO lead until the last day of the season, only to draw or lose and hand the title to the "reds". By that time, Harry Game was to replaced by Yugoslavian coach Gljsovic who would adopt a new modern style of football, which would transit PAO's traditional "British game" to that of a more technical and skilful football, where players would reach their opponent's penalty box with patient and precise passing instead of lobby it from defence for the strikers to head. With Gljsovic as coach PAO defeated PAOK Salonica is the Greek cup final by 2-0. What is commemorative was the fact that PAO player Kourtsidis, scored a goal from the halfway line!!!

1st National Championship

In 1959 the national league was created where every team had to play one another. This was to be positive for PAO since in the past, three separate leagues would be held and the club believed that if an "equal standards" league was created the club could prove how good it really was. The 3 leagues that were before that were the Athenian, Pirean and that of Salonica. The winner of each would play the other champions home and away, and the team with the most points of the 3 would win the title.

Panathinaikos and AEK had been complaining for years since the Athenian league comprised of the best teams also including Appolon Athens and Panionios whilst Olympiakos, apart from Ethinikos played against teams that were much weaker. PAO and AEK complained that by the time they had to play Olympiakos, there teams had been ravaged by injuries and suspensions and would be a lot more tired than the players of Olympiakos and Aris, who only had PAOK to worry about in their respective league.

"The General" and the Golden age

In 1959 PAO was to acquire a 17 year-old by the name o Mimis Domazos. This kid together with Andreas Papaemanouil otherwise know as "kounelos" were to be the two anchors behind PAO winning 5 of the next 6 championship. Domazos had been signed from an amateur club called "Amina Ambelokipon". No money was involved in the transfer but "Amina" were given a full kit of matching jerseys, shorts

and socks. Domazos, as a signing on fee had PAO pay for the bottle of orange juice he consumed in the cafeteria where he signed his contract with PAO. He was to serve PAO as a player for 22 years. In between, for one season played with AEK Athens helping them win the league for the 1st time in 8 years. In his long career, he captained PAO and Greece, winning 50 caps. He was to lead PAO to the final of the Champions Cup in 1971. He is undisputedly regarded as one of the clubs true great's along with Angelos Messaris. Maybe the greatest of them all. With Domazos, PAO was to win the 1st national championship, beating their greatest enemy Olympiakos in a play-off at the Karaiskaki stadium by 2-1.

A good team and with silverware to prove it

Gljsovic who in one season had managed to win the title with PAO by playing modern and football full of flair, fell out with the board and was sacked even though he was champion. Harry Game returned to the club, and with the team already moulded by Gljsovic, was to win the title for the next 2 years, but in his 3rd season he failed and was sacked. This was to bring Croat Stepan Bobek on board. He was to make this squad legendary. It is important to state the improvement that had been made to PAO's game by Gljsovic's new tactics. In 1960-61, PAO represented Greece in the Champions Cup and was drawn with Juventus. The 1-1 draw at Leoforos was PAO's first ever official game against a foreign team. Although,

PAO was down 2-0 by the 30th min. the "Greens" fought back and scoring making it 2-1. As the Italian and European press stated at that time, PAO had many chance in the dying

minutes to force a replay but could not capitalise. The Italian press spoke of an impressive and spirited PAO team, whom although lacked international stars had given the Champions of Italy a good run for their money.

The arrival of the "teacher"- Stefan Bobek

Stefan Bobek as a footballer was regarded as one of the most graceful footballers of his time. When he finished his career and turned to coaching after successfully leading Partizan to domestic and international success he came to Athens and was to revolutionise Greek football forever. Even after he left the club many of his coaching colleagues agreed that he was the one that ultimately took Greek football into a new era, in order to be able to compete on an international level with respect. Bobek arrived in 1963. He was the 1st to employ the concept of the 4-3-3 system. He also signed many players, who were to make PAO a respected team with European pedigree.

Leoforos is burning

Bobek's work did not take long to take effect. In his 1st season he made unique a record that it until this day, unbroken. He won the league unbeaten, with 24 wins and 6 draws. The PAO fans were now excited with the prospect that PAO was going to complete the double by beating Olympiakos in Leoforos in the Greek cup final.

On the 17th June 1964, after regular time PAO and Olympiakos were deadlocked 1-1 and extra time was awarded. In the 108th minute, Papazoglou of Olympiakos missed a sitter

in front of goal and 5 minutes later, Domazos missed a similar opportunity skying it over the bar from 1 metre with the "reds" goalkeeper stranded. After these two misses , the fans started asking themselves and each other is the game was fixed, so a replay would be played allowing the clubs to make some extra revenue. Whispers soon turned into chants from both sides when the PAO fans chanting, would ask their Olympiakos counterparts if it was "fixed" and they collectively would reply "YES".

The Olympiakos fans then chantedback to the PAO fans if it was "fixed" and they also replied "YES". That was it. Fans from both sides united forces storming the pitch and attacked the players from both sides. If it wasn't for the police may well had been killed by the enraged mob. Both sets of fans were proud and could not accept their clubs disrespecting their support and "fixing" a game to make more money. This was to be the first and last time the fans of PAO and Olympiakos stoud united. Both sets of fans, tore down the goalposts, destroyed the pitch turf and dressing rooms and then torched Leoforos stadium. The damages were worth 1 million drachmas which in that time was regarded as a mythical amount as an average weekly wage back then was not more than 100 drachmas.

After a meeting and on demand of both PAO, Olympiakos and neutral fans the Greek cup was awarded on default- to AEK who had finished 2nd in the league.

"Civil war"

The next two seasons PAO was to win another two consecutive championships, but the season after that PAO was drawn in the Champions Cup and everyone was expecting Bobek's almost unbeaten team to have a good run in Europe. After PAO rolled over Sliema of Malta, they were drawn with Ferencvaros, Hungary. They were a powerful team in that time but PAO managed to draw 0-0 in Budapest. In the return leg, though PAO were terrible and lost 3-1. Many fans and the press blames Bobek for the loss and after a while even some players we holding him responsible. The team continued to win, but not in convincing fashion as it had in the past. PAO ends up losing the league to their "eternal rival", Olympiakos and 7 players make a press statmented setting the blame on Bobek. Some board members also joined it. Domazos and 4 other players plus Panourgias from the board took Bobeks side and for about most of the summer the two sides where at war. Finally, the "Bobek-ists were the ones that won the debate. Bobek promised to build a team that would be able to challenge for more than just the Greek league. Th Croatian coach also promised to renew the blood of the team with new players he saw fit, that could take PAO to the next level. He signed Grammos, Mitropoulos, Kalaitzidis who with Kamaras and Domazos where to lead the team to the 1971 Champions Cup final versus Ajax, 5 years later.

The players that were against Bobek were all given 6 month suspensions but even though the team was performing well, they were called by by Nikolaidis. Domazos was against their return and said he was quitting football and stops playing for 3 months. Without Domazos, PAO loses the title to Olympiakos but manages to win the cup with him returning at the end of the season. Bobek though had, had enough of the quarrels and leaves the club. His assistant Lakis Petropoulos takes over a team that was very strong and had no reason to quarrel about Bobek's tactics after he left. Bobek had put together a very powerful squad and it was to be Ferenc Pouskas who 2 years later was to take steer PAO on the road of glory.

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Paer IV

Wembley we are on our way

Petropoulos in conjuction with Bobek that had renewed the squad won the next two championship of 68-69 and 69-70. He was to passover the team to Hungarian legend Ferenc Pouskas, after he too fell out with the board. He did not have much success as a coach and after coaching teams Spain but did not have much success. PAO stated there Eurpean run disposing of Zeunesse Esse of Luxenberg by 7-1 on aggregate. Then it was the turn of Slovan Bratislava who the previous season had won the Cup Winners Cup by 4-2 on aggregate. Then things got difficult. PAO had to face English Champions, Everton. No one gave PAO hope. But in Goodison Park the score was still 0-0 when the time was 9:09, with 9 minutes to go, the number 9, Antonis Antoniadis made it 1-0. Everton then put on the pressure and equalised eventhough the PAO players were protesting for Economopoulos, the goalkeeper, being elbowed in the face by an opponent just before the "Tofees" equalised. PAO in the return leg managed to negotiate a 0-0 draw which took them to the semi-final were they were to meet Red Star Belgrade. PAO were thrashed 4-1 in the "Marakana" of Belgrade and seemed to have no hope in Leoforos. PAO came out strongly though and scored in the 5th minute to set the tie "alight". Two more goals followed and PAO went through on away goals. Many people who support other teams in Greece do not recognise PAO's run as they said it was funded by the military Junta

that was running the country at the time. But what they can't explain is what PAO's capabilities where to bribe Everton who where one of the biggest clubs in Europe and Red Star, when the Jugoslavs struck the upright on two occasions during PAO's 3-0 victory.On the 2nd June 1971 PAO played Ajax in the final. The players had the will but Ajax were too sup erior in every aspect and won deservedly 2-0. This Ajax was to win the next two Champions Cups consecutively. It would be the beggining of the "Cryuff era" in world football.

The team that played in the final was :

Economopoulos, Vlachos, Tomaras, Sourpis, Kapsis, Kamaras, Domazos, Filakouris, Eleftherakis,Antoniadis and Grammos.

Ajax : Stouie,Neeskens,Houlsof,Vasovic, Surbir, Mueren, Reiders(Blakemberg), Swart(Haan), Van Daik, Cryuff, Kaiser.

In the shadow of Olympiakos.

The same season PAO went to the final, they lost the league finishing third. The year after with Pouskas still on the bench PAO wins the title again '71-'72. After that though, Pouskas was to leave as did many of the players that had made PAO strong. Others where brought in but not of the same calibre. Olympiakos was now to take over the righns of Greeks football for the next few years. PAO though does manage to win the double in 1976-77 with ex-coach of Poland Kazimir Gorski. The title was actually clinched one round before the end of the season where PAO where playing Olympiakos in the Karaiskaki and needing at least a draw. Olympiakos were leading 2-1 until 8 minutes from time when Domazos scored a sensational overhead scissor kick to give the league to the "3-leaf Clovers" in Peireus. PAO would now have to wait until 1983-84 to win it's next league. Olympiakos had managed to win most leagues based on the foreign players it had brought in, namely Milton Viera(Uruguay), Yve Triantafilos (France), Julio Losada(Uruguay) and the Greek "George Best" Giorgos Delikaris. Another important factor was that the club was now owned was shipowner Nikos Goulandris who would be willing to spend any amount of money he had toin order to make Olympiakos better. He would sign the best Greek players and PAO would have to settle with those that the "reds" did not want. The worst thing was that the person that lead Olympiakos to its 70's glory was a PAO man. Lakis Petropoulos who had served PAO for almost 20 years as a player and coach. Things got worse in 1979 when PAO wanting to renew the squad released it's two legends Domazos who went to AEK and Antoniadis who went to Olympiakos. Many fans blamed the players for betraying them and the club, but even more blamed the PAO board. Domazos stayed the season with AEK helping them to the title whilst Antoniadis stayed at the "Reds" for only 6 months and tried to desperately return to PAO, the only team he wanted to really play for. He returned in January the following year

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Part V

the Era of Proffesional football

PAO was to get new management in the Vardinogiannis family. For this there were positives and negative. Possitive because the clubs finally had the funds to challenge for the best players but negative because Giorgos Vardinogiannis, did not have the experience to run the club. For the first 4 years of Pro-football the Pireans won all the leagues with PAO norrowly missing out in '80-'81 after they lost to Olympiakos in a play-off by 2-1. PAO in the meantime manages to get some silverwere by winning the Greek Cup twice.

A thrasing brings changes

In 82'-'83 PAO met Olympiakos in the semi final of the Greek cup. PAO won the 1st leg, 1-0 and in the second the score was the same but this time in the "reds" favour. The game went into extra time and a rampaging Olympiakos scored another 3 goals. This 4-0 thrashing could not be tolerated. Many plays were told to leave the club and others retired. A new coach was brought in. Jasek Gmoch who was assistant of Gorski in Poland's World Cup Campaign in 1978. The 1st thing he said was that he wanted to 1st build a team for the future that would play well and then in time win silverware. PAO though, with a team which had an average age of 24 wins the league the next season in everyones suprise!

The arrival of Velimir Zaec and Dimitris Saravakos

PAO had just won the league title for '83-'84 and wanting to strengthen even further brings in Saravakos from Panionios who was being tipped for great things and the captain of Jugoslavia, Velimir Zajec from Dynamo Zagreb. With the two of them PAO would reign for the next few years winning 2 championship in 4 years along with 3 greek cups and and two good runs in Europe. Zaec's(short visionary passing) game complimented that of Juan Ramon Rocha (long distance passing) and along with Saravakos' execution they planted fear in defences not only in Greece, but Europe also.

PAO began their European run in the Champions Cup in '84-'85 beating Linfield of Northern Irland 4-3 on aggregate after a brief scare in Belfast when the Greens where down 3-0 in the 16th minute. PAO though fought back equalising 3-3 and qualifying. Next opponant was Feyenood of Holland which featured a 22 year old by the name of Ruud Guillit. PAO drew in 0-0 in the De Cuip but won 2-1 in Athens to go through. Next up, was Gothenburg of Sweden who the previous season had won the UEFA Cup. PAO them beat 1-0 away and drew 2-2 in Athens in a tence match and with Saravakos equalising from the penalty spot with 7 minutes to go. Next was to be the Great Liverpool in the semi-final. PAO lost 4-0 at Anfield, but had complaints because they scored a legitimate goal which was wrongly disallowed by the East German, Kaiser. The return leg was not going to be easy and the Merseysiders ran out winners by 1-0.

It was a good run. Many people shortly after, wished PAO had qualified. The "Heysel disaster" was to occur just a month later. PAO was also unfortunate to lose the league by 1 point to PAOK.

The year after that was a route for PAO as they won the league by 7 points, leaving Olympiakos in 5th position. The capping came in the Cup final. PAO completed the double thrashing their arch enemies Olympiakos by 4-0 with Saravakos scoring an amazing 4th goal after he had just missed a penalty.

The club after that year went into a mini slump which was to last until the '89-'90 season when the Greens would win the next two Greek leagues.

In 1987 though PAO had an excellent run in the UEFA Cup beating Auxerre 4-3 on aggregate. They then met Juventus. In the 1st leg PAO won 1-0 with a Saravakos missile outside the box. In Turin, everyone was expecting PAO to be anihilated as 3 days before the return leg they had lost 6-3 to OFI Crete at home and many were asking for Vasili Daniels head. A spirited PAO though, managed to go through on away goals after losing 3-2 with Saravakos again proving a nuisance to the Italians.

In the 3rd round PAO was drawn against Honved f Hungary. PAO were down 5-0 until Saravakos gave PAO a lifeline by scoring 2 goals in the last 15 minutes. In Athens, PAO took it's blood back winning 5-1 and going through 7-6 on aggregate. After that a few weeks later, PAO were to lose their midfield general Velimir Zaec who had his leg broken. He was to return in the return leg of the quarter final against Club Brugge with PAO needing to win or draw at least 2-2 which was the reuslt of the first leg in Athens. Zaec was not match fit though and could not really help the team as they lost 1-0.

Success and failure

After the 90-91 season AEK would be the team to win 3 consecutive titles. PAO would come back after with a team that was made by Bosnian Ivica Osim and tehn taken over by old player Juan Ramon Rocha and PAO would win the two next titles starring Argentine Juan Jose Borelli and Pole Krystof Warzycha. A team which was to reach the semi final of the Champions league in '95-'96, only to bow out to Ajax by 3-1 on aggegate.

The league title of 95'-96' is the last one PAO has won up to today. Since then, PAO's big rival Olympiakos has won 6 in a row.

PAO had also had a good run in Europe in the '91-'92 season reaching the quarter finals of the 1st experimental Champions league but also the quarter finals of the '01-'02 season.

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History of Gate 13

He's some Gate 13 history for you taken from Gate 13


Panathinaikos was the first team in Greece that had organized supporters. In late 60s the first fan club (SOTH 13 - Gate 13 Fan Club) was established by a group of youngsters for two reasons. First reason was to find tickets for the small stadium easier and the second was to prevent fans of other teams to come among them. That fan club was best organized and developed during the early 70s, the same season that Panathinaikos qualified to the final of European Championship against Ajax. The enthusiasm and great effort that Gate 13 was always showing to the team, meant to be something like an era for other fans. By the end of 70s some members of Gate 13 founded new fan clubs, with N.O.P.O. and Green Devils to be the leading of the upcoming ones. The 1978-79 season was a season that violent riots took place all over Greece. Next season the 'clean up' starts from Gate 13, where the first hooligan actions turned up. The police sent undercover forces into the gate and the whole 'clean-up' operation took nearly two years. In middle 80s Giorgos Vardinogiannis (the president of the team) decided to shut down every fan club and founded PA.LE.FI.P., which was the only fan club that period. In 1988 some members of PA.LE.FI.P., having SOTH 13 as a vision, established a new fan club, the Green Cockney Club, which was located in 87 Socratous St. on the sixth floor. The next year two new clubs are established; Mad Boys and Fan Club Zografou. In 1993 these two fan clubs and some other with the same visions and ideas created Athens Fans. From that year until present, three are the main events: in 1995 the separation of Mad Boys from Athens Fans, the establishment of Underground and later on the establishment of Greens. Another season, 1997-98, is marked with the worst and violent riots, the year that Giorgos Vardinogiannis once again decides to shut down every fan club and leaves only PA.LE.FI.P., which was on his side all these years. The only fan clubs that are now open are about 35 and are all independent with the name of their city or area as a fan club name.

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...After these two misses , the fans started asking themselves and each other is the game was fixed, so a replay would be played allowing the clubs to make some extra revenue. Whispers soon turned into chants from both sides when the PAO fans chanting, would ask their Olympiakos counterparts if it was "fixed" and they collectively would reply "YES".

The Olympiakos fans then chantedback to the PAO fans if it was "fixed" and they also replied "YES". That was it. Fans from both sides united forces storming the pitch and attacked the players from both sides. If it wasn't for the police may well had been killed by the enraged mob. Both sets of fans were proud and could not accept their clubs disrespecting their support and "fixing" a game to make more money. This was to be the first and last time the fans of PAO and Olympiakos stoud united...

would be nice to see something similar nowadays.

very interesting. :tup:

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WOW!!! that was great, it great to know the history of your team, cheers evergreen (btw didn't pao make it to the semi's in 96 or some year against ajax? u've probably written it somewhere.

cheers matey, great sh*t

yes indeed!!!! great moments......except the second match which was shattering :whistle:
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