Leading Greek clubs have confirmed that they will take strike action following the government’s refusal to compensate them for loss of revenue caused bythe collapse of a European digital TV broadcaster.

The third round and fourth rounds of matches will go ahead as scheduled, with the stoppage commencing on September 28.

‘We have to give a response to the government whatever the short-term cost will be for us,’ a spokesman for Panathinaikos said.

The government has turned down a request by the clubs to provide money through the state-run betting authority OPAP despite a desperate appeal from League of Professional Clubs (EPAE).

The appeal comes in the wake of the collapse on Wednesday of Alpha Digital which left 10 of Greece’s top-flight 16 clubs without the expected revenue from the screening of their games. Among the clubs are some of Greece’s bigger clubs including Olympiakos, Panathianaikos, AEK and PAOK.

But Greek Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said: ‘The Greek government does not want to open a Pandora’s box. We will not enter a discussion which concerns a clash of business interests.’

Venizelos rejected the proposal because OPAP’s betting game, Pame Stoichima (Let’s Bet), The main shareholder of the operator of Stoichima, Intralot (Socrates Kokallis), is also the main shareholder of one of the biggest teams (Olympiakos).