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Former Greece’s captain Theo Zagorakis takes over PAOK June 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.

Former Greece’s captain Theo Zagorakis has been named chairman of PAOK to lead efforts to rescue the financially troubled club.

The 35-year-old midfielder, who captained Greece to victory at the European Championships in 2004, heads a five-member provisional governing board for the Thessaloniki club. The board was approved Tuesday by a court that gave the club six months to settle debts and unpaid taxes worth an estimated 30 million euros.

The first division club is in negotiations with the Finance Ministry and is hoping to reduce its debt by about half.

“PAOK has reached a critical point. New management alone will not solve the problems, the government must help too,” Zagorakis said. “What we need is a lot of hard work, and not a lot of talk . . . Returning PAOK to financial health is the main goal of the new management.”

Zagorakis’ initiative follows a similar effort by former Greece teammate Demis Nikolaidis, who took over management of AEK Athens in 2004 and rescued the club from the brink of financial collapse.

A former Leicester City and Bologna player, Zagorakis returned to Greece in 2005 to rejoin PAOK. He retired from the national team last October and officially ended his playing career at PAOK earlier this month.

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