Panathinaikos FC confirmed today that former AEK Athens coach Fernando Santos is taking over as their manager.
Former AEK coach
Santos, who led AEK to Hellenic Cup glory a month ago and into the UEFA Champions League next season, walked out on the club on 9 May and the very next day Sergio Markarian quit as Panathinaikos' coach.
'The team will be stronger'
Santos was widely thought to have signed a pre-contract agreement with the Ethniki Katigoria team. After days of speculation, Panathinaikos president Angelos Philippides chose a celebratory dinner in New York to announce the news that Santos would indeed lead Panathinaikos next season. "`With Fernando Santos, who has come to an agreement with us, the team will be stronger next season,'' Philippides said.
Must do better
Panathinaikos reached the Champions League quarter-finals this year, but they had a disappointing season by their own standards and will have to make do with UEFA Cup football next year. They finished third in the Hellenic National League behind their arch rivals Olympiakos Piraeus FC, who claimed their sixth consecutive league title, and second-placed AEK.