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Extensive Wall Street Journal Article Features Vangelis Marinakis

May 29, 2024

The Wall Street Journal published an extensive article on the ship owner and owner of the Greek soccer team Olympiacos, Vangelis Marinakis. In it, he discusses, among other things, both the Piraeus team and the English team, Nottingham Forest, which he also owns.

Referring to Olympiacos and the great progress made by the team in the Conference League [Editors note: they became Europa Conference League champions May 29] after his significant investments in a new coach and players in the middle of the season. Marinakis emphasized that “I don’t like losing at all, and when that happens, I do everything I can to change it.”

The article also highlights the Nottingham team that managed to achieve their goal and avoid relegation, securing a place for another lucrative season in the Premier League.

The article also refers in detail to the businesses that Marinakis owns, such as Alter Ego Media, Greece’s largest publishing group, which it notes has become profitable this year and plans to list on the Athens Stock Exchange later in the year. The WSJ noted that Vangelis Marinakis’ fortune is valued at about $3.5 billion and that he commands a fleet of more than 100 ships.

The Greek businessman also commented on the decision of the Premier League last March to punish Nottingham with a deduction of 4 points due to a violation of the rules it has set regarding the expenses of the clubs.

“I firmly believe that the Premier League has been tough on Forest,” said Marinakis, who spent around £250 million ($318 million) to improve the club, which was on the brink of relegation to the third division of English football when he took ownership in May 2017.

“This does not mean that Marinakis does not intend to show even greater interest in his favorite sport. He is currently completing the acquisition of Rio Ave, a mid-tier Portuguese team that finished 11th in the Portuguese league,” the WSJ reports.

“History shows that Marinakis will not be content with 11th place for long. Within five years of taking control of Forest, the club had returned to the top flight of English football for the first time in almost a quarter of a century… Although the last two seasons have been successful and the club avoided relegation, it is clear that Marinakis does not see simply staying in the Premier League as something worth celebrating,” the article adds.

 

Forest Will Shine Again”

“I own the biggest club in Greece and I wouldn’t have invested in England for a smaller team that just wants to avoid relegation, Marinakis added. “We will do whatever it takes to make Forest shine again.”

What is urgently needed, according to the club’s owner, is a bigger stadium than the current 30,445-capacity City Ground, which has been Forest’s home ground since 1898. In particular, he stresses that he wants to move the team to a new 50,000-seater stadium, but is also pushing Nottingham City Council for permission to add at least 15,000 new seats to the existing stadium.

“We live in an age where success is measured by profits,” said Marinakis. “We have to have bigger targets, like other regional cities, Manchester and Liverpool, which have some of the biggest clubs in the world.”

The feature closes with an extensive reference to Olympiacos, the most successful club in the history of Greek soccer, which was bought by Marinakis in 2010, in the midst of the Greek debt crisis, with him investing over €100 million to cover debts and improve the team’s training facilities. “Success came, as Olympiacos were crowned champions in 10 of the 12 seasons following the takeover by Marinakis,” the article states.

“In the last two years the club has gone through storms, with consecutive third places and two consecutive years without a ticket for the Champions League. Marinakis says losing a place in Europe’s top club competition leaves a €20m to €30m hole in the club’s finances, which he is filling.

But he will have no complaints if Olympiacos beat Fiorentina in the Conference League final on Wednesday and become the first Greek team to lift a European trophy,” the WSJ added before the match was played.

Owning a football team, Marinakis acknowledges, can be an exhausting and, at times, extremely frustrating business. “But I enjoy the uphill route and I never get bored,” Marinakis concluded.

(Material from the Wall Street Journal was used in this report)

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