Tomasevic: I love PAOK, but I have 4 children

ImageIn the context of having sued PAOK for money owed to him by the Greek club, Dejan Tomasevic gave an exclusive interview to the Greek website Sportnet.gr . Here is a translation of it.

-How exactly is the situtation with PAOK?

-From my side it is simple and specific. I played for PAOK, we signed a contract and I didn't get paid. We had a deal and I kept my part 100%.

-I knew that the team was facing problems, but I didn't want to push things to the edge. On the contrary I behaved like a flawless professional and kept my word and my signature. I could have left. High level playing is not just for fun. I chose to stay and spend yet another year in a foreign country without my family. I played as good as I could and along with my teammates we achieved the best thing possible.

Those moments surely are priceless, but I don't play basketball for fun. I am a professional and I need to get paid what we have agreed upon. I have four kids and I need that money.

I tried to come in contact with PAOK management members, but couldn't find anyone. I phoned, I even sent a letter, but nothing. From there on there was no other way than to sue.

-They are worried in Thessaloniki, because of the recent AEK example that is having difficulties signing new players.

-This is a tough subject for any team, but honestly, you cannot ask me about it. I love PAOK, I had a good time in Thessaloniki with the fans etc, but this is a matter of rights. I think it is my right to ask for what is owed to me. I cannot give away money, that the team agreed upon to give me (contract).

-Has anyone tried to contact you from PAOK after you sued?

-Nobody has spoken with me. I have no news. Of course now the matter is a legal matter and my lawyers are handling it. I don't know what will happen in the end and if the matter will be solved in a week, a month or a year, but I am sure I'm right and that I did what I had to do. I want PAOK fans to know this.

-From what we know, there is no bitterness from PAOK fans.

-But this is also true from my side. What we experienced last season cannot be compaired to money. Different subjects. My relationship with the fans is something that will stay within me forever and I would like it to be ruined by this case. I say again, I have a family, I have four children and I cannot sit back and not protect my rights.

-Did you quit basketball?

-Yes. I don't think I will play professionaly again. I haven't announced it officially yet, but this is my decision. I trained with Partizan in the summer and was in perfect condition, but I didn't receive any satisfying offer.

It seemed impossible after so many years, but when you reach a certain age you weigh things differently. The cost of yet another season on court, with training and long travelling away from my family, should be equalized by a very strong offer (both financially and sportively). That didn't come so now I am out.