The financial crisis in Greek football deepened on Thursday as two of the country's biggest clubs were threatened with relegation over transfer debts.
Pay or go
AEK Athens FC and FC PAOK Thessaloniki were both given 30 days to pay up or be docked six league points. If they fail to find the money after that they will be demoted to the second division or Beta Ethniki. "In the instance that AEK [and PAOK] do not make the payment after the docking of points, they will be relegated," the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) said in a statement on Thursday.
The order came after FIFA's disciplinary committee ruled that AEK must pay €360,000 to Polish striker Grzegorz Mielcarski plus a €15,000 fine within the next 30 days. Meanwhile, PAOK were told to hand over €542,000 owed to Yugoslavian club FK Zeleznik for the transfer of Sladjan Spasic - half of which must be paid by 15 February - and received a €15,000 fine.
PAOK are currently third in the Alpha Ethniki table, with UEFA Cup contenders AEK in fourth place. A FIFA spokesman confirmed that an international transfer embargo was imposed on both clubs last August and remains in place. On Monday, meanwhile, state auditors investigating finances at AEK demanded €16m in back taxes and the government has since announced a financial investigation into all top-flight clubs.