Nioplias leaves Panathinaikos on amicable terms

Panathinaikos FC have parted with Nikos Nioplias by mutual consent with the coach saying: "I leave on friendly terms, I always acted in Panathinaikos's best interests."

Nikos Nioplias has left Panathinaikos by mutual consent
Nikos Nioplias has left Panathinaikos by mutual consent ©Getty Images

Panathinaikos FC have parted company with coach Nikos Nioplias by mutual consent following a meeting between the 45-year-old and club president Niklolas Pateras.

A Panathinaikos statement said: "We would like to thank Mr Nioplias for his contribution to last season's league and cup double and we wish him all the best for his career."

Nioplias led the Athens side to glory in both the Super League and the Greek Cup after taking over from Henk ten Cate last December following a spell as Greece Under-21 coach. The outgoing coach said: "I would like to thank everybody for the trust they placed in me. We had some unforgettable moments and I wish with all my heart for the team to repeat successes like last season's double because they deserve it. I leave on friendly terms, believing I always acted in Panathinaikos's best interests."

The departure of former OFI Crete FC, Panathinaikos and Greece midfielder Nioplias comes in the wake of Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Larissa FC. The Greens remain top of the Premier League but are level on points with second-placed Olympiacos FC, who have a game in hand. The season so far has been regarded as something of a disappointment, with Panathinaikos's first ten league matches including a defeat by AEK Athens FC and three draws, two of them at home.

UEFA Champions League Group D has also produced its share of disappointments, with the team bottom of the section with two points from four games.

Panathinaikos have named Jacek Gmoch as Nioplias's temporary replacement. The 71-year-old Polish coach said: "I am a soldier at Panathinaikos's service as long as they want me. It is not a time to talk, but a time to work hard."

Former Legia Warszawa and Poland defender Gmoch guided Panathinaikos to a domestic double in 1983/84 and to the semi-finals of the next season's European Champion Clubs' Cup, where they lost to Liverpool FC. In addition, under his command Larissa became the only club from outside Athens and Salonika to win the Greek title, in 1987/88. He has also been in charge at AEK, Olympiacos, PAS Giannina and Panionios GSS.