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The end of a season and the unlicensed clubs of the Greek Super League
The 2012-13 season has almost come to an end and it is time for all to reflect on what this brought to the clubs that played in the Greek Super League (first division). The 'double' to the winner Olympiakos, numerous cases of disputable referee decisions, new appearances in the top of the league table and the fall of the traditional big clubs in the league, such as Panathinaikos and AEK Athens. For the these two clubs, it is actually the first time ever since the play-off matches were introduced, that neither are playing in them.
However, the end of one season is the beginning of another, and one that is expected to be very interesting. Every year, the Hellenic Football Federation has to decide on whether to issue licenses to the clubs that will be participating in the Super League, allowing them to compete both in Greek and European competitions. The decision is based mainly on financial criteria for each club and depends on the evidence the club will present to the HFF.
It was surprising for the fans to see that, as announced on May 22nd, six out of 16 clubs currently playing in the Greek Super League were not issued a license to participate in the 2013-14 season. Interestingly enough Panathinaikos was one of them, along with Aris, OFI, Panthrakikos, Panionios and PAS Giannina. The decision was not final and a series of appeals will follow, possibly allowing most, if not all, of them to play in the Super League after all. It is, however, one of the things that Greek football needs to reflect on. After all, it is troubling to see almost half the country’s top flight clubs struggling for their license to play.
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