AEK fans loyal to a fault

Fans of AEK fans have once again demonstrated their loyalty by buying more season tickets than any other club in the Greek game – including European contenders Olympiakos and PAOK.

AEK dropped outside the top flight for the first time ever this summer – relegated to the amateur third division in order to liquidate the club’s professional football branch and eliminate a massive debt.

Dimitris Melissanidis, returned to take over the club and promised a speedy return to the top flight, as well as the immediate construction of a new stadium where AEK’s Nikos Goumas home ground used to stand.

So far, so good, as AEK announced on Monday they had sold 12,855 season tickets, more than any other Greek club across the league pyramid.

In comparison, Super League champions and Cup holders Olympiakos have sold 12,000 season tckets and sit third in the list, behind PAOK with 12,820. Traditional Greek heavyweights Panathinaikos have barely reached the 8,000 mark.

With the unemployment rate in Greece reaching 27%, Melissanidis offered jobless AEK supporters the chance to watch every home game for a total cost of just €50, while also committing to spend half of the season tickets revenue on the construction of the new Ayia Sofia football ground.