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[FM 16] PAOK FC: Berbatov's children

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The Pan-Thessaloniki Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans (Panthessalonikios Athlitikos Omilos Konstantinopoliton) is the historic sequel of the sports’ and culture club “Hermes”, founded by Greeks of Constantinople in 1875, at the heart of the city, in Pera district. The first memorandum of the association was approved on 20 April 1926, on an order by the Court of First Instance of Thessaloniki (No. 822). The founding members were: A. Angelopoulos, A. Athanasiadis, K. Anagnostidis, M. Ventourelis, F. Vyzantios (second president), A. Dimitriadis, D. Dimitriadis, N. Zoumboulidis, M. Theodosiadis, Th. Ioakimopoulos, P. Kalpaktsoglou, Th. Kartsabekis, D. Koemtzopoulos, K. Koemtzopoulos, P. Kontopoulos, K. Kritikos, M. Konstantinidis, P. Maletskas, I. Nikolaidis, L. Papadopoulos, F. Samantzopoulos, Th. Tsoulkas, M. Tsoulkas, S. Triantafyllidis, T. Triantafyllidis (first president of the club).

The first emblem of PAOK (1926) depicted a four-leaf clover and a horseshoe.

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The leaves were green and above them were the initials of the word PAOK.

The unforgettable Kostas Koemtzopoulos came up with this idea, inspired by the pack of cigarettes he was smoking. The colors chosen for the club were black, as a sign of mourning and sadness for the lost homelands, and white, symbolizing hope and optimism.

The first board of directors of PAOK (1926-1927) consisted of:

President: T. Triantafyllidis

First vice-president: P. Kalpaktsoglou

Second vice-president: A. Athanasiadis

ΓGeneral secretary: K. Kritikos

Special secretary: M. Tsoulkas

Treasurer: Th. Ioakimopoulos

Director of football: A. Angelopoulos

Consultants: M. Konstantinidis and S. Triantafyllidis

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The decision to merge with AEK Thessaloniki was a historic one. The competition and rivalry between the twinned clubs lasted until 20 March 1929. On that day, the president of political club Union of Constantinopolitans, Dr. Karamaounas, achieved the merger of the two refugee clubs of Thessaloniki.

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After merging with AEK Thessaloniki in 1929, PAOK changed their emblem as well. The Double-Headed Eagle (PAOK’s ‘signature’ until today) symbolizes the club’s origins and the remembrance of the refugees’ roots and inheritance (Byzantine Empire and Constantinople). The eagle holds a sword and a crown and the two heads face East and West. The difference of PAOK’s emblem to the one of AEK (which is also the symbol of the Orthodox Church) is that PAOK’s eagle has its wings folded, as a sign of long-term bereavement for the uproot from homeland.

The dream of the founding members and the supporters of PAOK for the team to acquire a home ground turned to reality in 1928, after a hard effort. On 12 December 1930, the first home ground of the team, the stadium of Syntrivani, was inaugurated.

The first professional contract remains to this day a historic document. It was signed by the club on 5 September 1928. According to it, Etienne, a player from Pera Club of Constantinople, would earn a monthly fee of 4.000 drachmas. In 1931 the Double-Headed Eagle hired the first foreign coach in their history, Austrian Rudolf Gassner.

After World War II and the German occupation, PAOK began to grow, especially in the early ‘50s. The famous “chicos” of Willy were formed –Willy being an Austrian coach (at PAOK in 1950-52), who also played for the club back in 1931-32. This youth team produced big players who made history for PAOK (Leandros, Symeonidis, Giannelos, Margaritis, Giorgos Chavanidis etc).

On 11 March 1951, PAOK played their first Greek Cup final. The match took place in Leoforos Alexandras Stadium and ended with a 4-0 defeat by Olympiacos. The starting eleven of PAOK on that occasion: Lykaris, Patakas, Golemis, Arvanitis, Gogos, Psomas, Vassiliadis, Mouratidis, Tzinopoulos, Papadakis, Emmanouilidis.

The year marking the dawn of PAOK’ golden era is 1953. In the summer, the club signs Kouiroukidis, Petridis, Progios, Geroudis, Kemanidis, Chourvouliadis, Chasiotis and Angelidis. PAOK become an almighty force, they are proclaimed Thessaloniki champions three years in a row and are the city’s worthy representative in the Greek Championship. The legendary trio Gentzis-Kouiroukidis-Papadakis enters the history books.

The team reached their second Greek Cup final in 1955, but didn’t win any silverware that time either. The match was played in the home ground of their rival, in Leoforos Alexandras Stadium! Panathinaikos won 2-0 through first-half goals of Kourtzidis and Panakis. The starting eleven of PAOK that day: Progios, Kermanidis, Geroudis, Kalogiannis, Chasiotis, Doukakis, Tsintoglou, Karafoulidis, Gentzis, Papadakis, Kiourtzis.

Sometime in 1957, the team administration envisioned a new home ground, worthy of PAOK’s big ambitions, given that the old one had been expropriated. Searching out for the best location, they chose an area at Toumba that used to belong to the Ministry of National Defence. Apart from the huge stretch on offer, this neighborhood of Thessaloniki had an indissoluble bond with the refugees from Asia Minor.A 7,5-acre area (about 30.000 sq. metres) was given to PAOK in exchange for a hefty sum of money and construction began. There was also a lottery authorized to help finance the works. The new stadium was inaugurated on 6 September 1959 by the Minister of National Defence, G. Themelis. Before kick-off, a ball was thrown by a military aircraft overflying the premises, in a symbolic act of the Armed Forces’ donation. Owners at last of a brand new stadium and with the 1st National Division just beginning, PAOK were ready for a prestigious trajectory.

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For their debut in the 1st National Division (A’ Ethniki), on 25 October 1959, PAOK played at home against Megas Alexandros Katerinis and won 3-1. The following decade, the Double-Headed Eagle did not reach high standards of performance. It was as if they were preparing for the big burst of the ‘70s, when PAOK team became one of the best ever to grace the Greek football fields. With players that are still considered legendary in Greek football. That team and those players achieved records that, even to this day, seem unbreakable.

The foundations for the creation of this side were laid in the late ‘60s. Giorgos Koudas, one of the most talented players ever in Greek football, returned to Toumba in 1966. He, along with some great young footballers (Sarafis, Terzanidis, Aslanidis, Paridis, Gounaris, Iosifidis etc) signed gradually, all became the backbone of a legendary squad.

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That squad of PAOK managed to challenge the traditional football forces of Athens and won two Greek Cups (1972 and 1974) and the league title in 1976. Had the circumstances been different, PAOK could have claimed more silverware. From 1970 until 1974, the Double-Headed Eagle competed in five consecutive Greek Cup finals, four of them played in Athens and Piraeus. The decade started with two lost finals (1-0 to Aris in 1970 and 3-1 to Olympiacos in 1971). PAOK were the losing finalist also in 1973 (Olympiacos 1-0 PAOK), 1977 (Panathinaikos 2-1 PAOK) and 1978 (AEK 2-0 PAOK). In essence, however, this decade established PAOK as the big club of the North, with thousands of fans. During that period, great managers were at the helm of the team. Those who stood out for bringing three trophies to Toumba Stadium were an Englishman, Les Shannon, and Hungarian Gyula Lóránt.

In the late ‘70s football became professional in Greece. So on 18 July 1979, a limited liability football company (Ltd) was founded by the name

“Pan-Thessalonikan Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans” (Panthessalonikios Athlitikos Omilos Konstantinopoliton), entitled “PAOK FC”. The starting share-capital amounted to 37.100.000 drachmas and the unforgettable Giorgos Pantelakis became the first president. PAOK’ high flights would continue during the ‘80s, with just a few seasons to forget. The team reached the Greek Cup final three more times, but didn’t win the trophy. In 1981, they lost 3-1 to Olympiacos in Nea Filadelfia Stadium, in 1983 they were defeated 2-0 by AEK in the Olympic Stadium of Athens and, in 1985, in the same venue, they lost 4-1 to Larissa.

A major year in the history of PAOK would be 1985. The Double-Headed Eagle won their second league title (first professional one), led by Austrian head coach Walter Skocik. The team included players such as Iosifidis, Alavantas, Alexandridis, Vassilakos, Jurišić, Damanakis, Dimopoulos, Kostikos, Pantelis, Paprica, Skartados, Tsourelas etc.

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The main characteristic of the ‘80s was the unconditional love and the fanaticism of the fans, a phenomenon breaking all records and transcending Greek borders. In European competition, PAOK came one step away from a major achievement, but got eliminated by Bayern Munich in a penalty shoot-out. Nevertheless, that performance of PAOK in Munich is still regarded as one of the best ever by a Greek team in the European Cups.

The ‘90s started on the right foot, with PAOK among the best teams of Greece. Another participation in the Greek Cup final in 1991-1992 ended with PAOK on the losing side, in a two-legged tie with Olympiacos (1-1 in Toumba, 0-2 in Karaiskakis Stadium). That period however was tarnished by the feud between then president Thomas Voulinos and the organized fans, that would eventually lead to a change in the club’s ownership and administrative regime in 1996. A season earlier, under the guidance of Dutch coach Arie Haan, PAOK took third place in the 1994-95 league and served the suspension handed to them by UEFA in 1992, when they were banned from European competition following crowd incidents in the home encounter against Paris St-Germain.

Thomas Voulinos handed the presidency and the majority of the club’s shares to Giorgos Batatoudis in 1996. The Greek businessman from Evros, who based his companies in Athens, started his tenure impressively. The acquisition of Zisis Vryzas from Skoda Xanthi in the summer of 1996 and the signings of Kostas Frantzeskos from OFI Crete and Spyros Marangos from Panathinaikos in January 1997 lifted the competitive profile of the team. The squad already boasted the presence of great players like Thodoros Zagorakis, Giorgos Toursounidis and Nikos Michopoulos. With Angelos Anastasiadis at the helm, PAOK had two excellent seasons (1996-97, 1997-98) and qualified easily for the UEFA Cup. Giorgos Batatoudis continued reinforcing the squad with important players (Georgiadis, P. Konstantinidis. V. Borbokis, Venetidis, Okkas, Egomitis, Frousos, Nalitzis etc.) and in January 2000 he handed the reins of the squad to Bosnian coach Dušan Bajević. Under his tutelage, the Double-Headed Eagle played excellent football and in May 2001 they won the Greek Cup at the expense of Olympiacos (4-2) in Nea Filadelfia Stadium. Angelos Anastasiadis returned at the helm of the squad for a third spell and led PAOK to yet another triumph: the Greek Cup 1-0 victory over Aris in the 2003 final played in Toumba. The following season, PAOK finished third in the league standings and got a berth in the 3rd qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.

In the summer of 2005, the skipper of the Euro 2004 winning Greek team Thodoros Zagorakis returned to PAOK, seven years after leaving (1998) to continue his career at the ranks of Leicester, AEK and Bologna. In the summer of 2007, Zagorakis decided to take over the presidency of the club, in an effort to lead it back to greatness. The first challenge was set in the summer of 2008: the construction of PAOK’s new athletic centre in Nea Mesimvria, in the outskirts of Thessaloniki. The first phase of works was completed in 2011, while at the same time the team was recording impressive results in European competition. PAOK’s roster was boosted with the arrival of renowned players, like Pablo García, Pablo Contreras, Zlatan Muslimović, André Vieirinha, Vladan Ivić, Kostas Chalkias. Under the guidance of Fernando Santos, PAOK finished second in the 2009-10 league and competed in the UEFA Champions League qualifying round for the second time.

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Mr. Ivan Savvidis first became interested in acquiring the majority of PAOK FC’ shares back in 2006. The dream of investing in the team that symbolizes the lost homelands came true for the businessman of Greek descent in the summer of 2012. The negotiations lasted almost five months and, in August 2012, Mr. Savvidis became the majority shareholder and the new owner of the club.

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t8cTZi.png

Olsen will hold you. Glykos can bring up to 1-1,2M but then you will have to get a GK.

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Costa, Vitor, Tzavellas and Malezas will give you enough strength but you will need at least another CD

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Ergys Kace is the best option for CM. Tziolis can be your cover. Antonis will need time to show you things. You can

get Amalfitano, who will help you form January. For the Greek League is a vary food player.

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Give Cimirot a place in the first 11. Charisis will have to go on load so he can grow up.

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Robert Mak can brink up to 6-6,5M. Eric Sabo cat stand as a winger. There are many players that can come

and help you. Frank Arnesen (DoF) knows...

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Rodrigues is the man for you... Korovesis can stand as a decent back up.

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Pelkas & Golasa can create a nice duo, but... Arianit Ferati can come on loan from Stuttgart as a trequartista.

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Berbatov + Athanasiadis = Goals for ever...

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TRANSFERS IN

Use the knowledge of Frank Arnesen. He can get you lots of good players on loan such as:

Arianit Ferati (AMC) from Stuttgart

Bertrand Traore (MC/A. AML/C/A) from Chelsea

Valeriy Luchkevych (D/WB/AMR) from Dnipro

Milos Velijkovic (DC) from Tottenham

TRANFERS OUT

You can get ~8,5M by selling out :

Robert Mak (~6,5M)

Panagiotis Glykos (1M)

Bogdan Rangelov (U20) (1M)

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How is Eyal Golasa on this save? He pretty immense of Fm a couple of years ago... think it was FM12. I won the champions league with him!

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PAOK 2015-16

January 2016



KLAUS__BERBATOV

AF-At________CF-Su

FERATI

T-At

RODRIGUES__CIMITOR__KACE__LUCHKEVYCH

W-At____BBM-Su___CM-De_____W-At

VLAAR___VITOR___VELIJKOVIC

CD-De____CD-De____CD-De

OLSEN

GK-De

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