Panathinaikos owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos has had his appeal for his current EuroLeague arena suspension dismissed and following his side’s loss to Real Madrid in game three of their playoff series, launched another attack on the league.
All this while they are beginning talks with FIBA over entering next season’s Basketball Champions League, all but ending their affiliation with EuroLeague Basketball.
Giannakopoulos is currently barred from entering any EuroLeague venue until June 30, but despite the warning, he has defied the suspension and been present for a Panathinaikos home game, at home to Olympiacos.
EuroLeague Basketball released this statement:
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Wednesday dismissed in its entirety an appeal made on March 9, 2018, by Mr. Dimitris Giannakopoulos of a decision issued by the Appeals Judge of Euroleague Basketball (EB) on February 27, 2018, thereby confirming the latter decision.
Mr. Dimitris Giannakopoulos has also been ordered to cover all costs of the arbitration.
Mr. Giannakopoulos had been sanctioned by the EB Disciplinary Judge in February with a 12-month ban from accessing arenas where EB competitions are being played due to his public statements, which were judged to endanger the duly harmonious relationship among clubs and to be detrimental to the sport of basketball in accordance with Article 24.1.g) of the Disciplinary Code.
Later, on February 27, 2018, the EB Appeals Judge reduced the 12-month ban to five months while adding to it an accessory fine of €60,000.
Subsequently, Euroleague Basketball imposed three additional sanctions – of €60,000, €120,000, and €180,000, respectively – for violations of the decision of the Appeals Judge. Such sanctions remain in place and applicable, as well.
Panathinaikos went on to lose to Real Madrid in the Spanish capital, going 2-1 down in their playoff series. In a statement, Giannakopoulos congratulated Real on their win, but then went on to attack the EuroLeague once again, not content with just simply accepting his actions, convinced that the competition is against him and Panathinaikos.
“The whole of Europe watches and understands in the most thundering manner that the competition isn’t decided on the floor,” Giannakopoulos says. “Everyone that doesn’t believe this after tonight’s game is either stupid or “fixed”. The failing Spanish employee with the little glasses has made his competition his own fiefdom.
“Apart from the fact that we are crying aloud for years because no one tells us where does the money from sponsors, from the use of the images of the logos, or the athletes’, from the TV rights but also because after so many years the team income from them, brilliant management is poor, now, in the last two years, we have an unknown referee as a protagonist in nearly every game. The athletes and their efforts are relegated to a matter of secondary importance.
“This is how you degenerated basketball, you useless one. As I have said, regardless of the final outcome of our efforts on the floor, unless there will be radical changes on situations and people, we will depart from what should be called “Circus-League” at the end of the season.”
And with that, it has been reported that Panathinaikos are in talks with FIBA to join the Basketball Champions League for next season.
Both FIBA and representatives of Panathinaikos are rumoured to meet in Athens during the Basketball Champions League Final Four with the intention of studying a draft schedule according to which the Greens will play in FIBA’s flagship event next season.