The board of directors at AEK Athens FC resigned today as the crisis at the Ethniki Alpha club showed no sign of abating.
AEK president Harilaos Psomiadis, cousin of the team's majority shareholder Chrisostomos 'Makis' Psomiadis, said that his position had become untenable due to the ongoing financial investigations into the club.
Last Monday, AEK were ordered to pay €16m in unpaid taxes by government auditors. Although the audit covered the period between July 1992 and June 2001, before Makis Psomiadis's arrival as head of a consortium 18 months ago, it followed an appeal to AEK by Greek sports minister George Lianis to sever links with the controversial owner.
A statement on AEK's official website said: "The president of AEK Athens, Harilaos Psomiadis, announced to members of the board of directors that the present administration is indirectly forced to resign after pressure from the government.
"In view of this situation and the unfounded rumours spread against the present administration, it is impossible for the board of directors to exercise their powers and duties. Following further discussions, all other board members decided to resign and to announce the fact to shareholders and the relevant government bodies."
Makis Psomiadis, who has a suspended 12-year prison sentence for a forgery conviction, replaced digital TV company NetMed and UK company ENIC as majority shareholder, although the latter business retains a 34 per cent interest in the club.
Psomiadis's problems have mounted over the last fortnight. Star striker Themistoklis Nikolaidis has launched legal proceedings against him accusing him of threatening behaviour. Yesterday, meanwhile, the Hellenic National League warned AEK that they face possible relegation if they fail to pay a FIFA fine and money owed to a player within the next 30 days.
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