A blend of constructive criticism and aims ahead of the new season from Ivan Savvidis
An all-encompassing teleconference between the PAOK FC President and the coaching staff, the sports directorate, the administration and department managers took place yesterday.
Ivan Savvidis began his address with a summary of the club’s transfer planning and the European exit:
«It is a given that I bear the first and main responsibility. Life is structured in such a way that failures are the fault of the leader, but victories are won by everyone else. I don’t have a problem with that and I’m talking to you today because the strong emotions after the exit from Europe have since subsided.
We need to improve in all areas, to reorganize the team in all its structures. I look forward to everyone’s suggestions for the changes and improvements that their departments need.
According to my own logic, I carry out the transfer recommendations that have the absolute approval of the coach, after the suggestion of the sports director. I take it for granted in advance that we will not always agree, but through our disagreements we will come to the right decisions for the club. The squad needs to be balanced and players who are not in the coach’s plans should be sold or leave.
No one has caught the way I refer to the word self-sufficiency. Before me, PAOK was never united, relying on its own staff, its own resources, its own plan. After I am gone I would like it to continue to be like this. Until then I’m securing the funding to aim high. In the most difficult year worldwide, this year’s deficit is large and I will guarantee its coverage. This, so that everyone understands that all failures end there and are always covered by me. I am not at all satisfied with the revenue generation for the team, or with the revenue generating activities, and it needs a huge improvement.
In the most difficult moment, I will be there supporting not only the team, but starting historic projects, such as the stadium and the training center. And I want people with me who not only see problems, but also their solutions.
We are approaching the one-century birthday of PAOK and from now on it must be clear how we will get there and with whom we will get there.
Going out of Europe was a setback and that’s how I want you all to deal with it. I don’t want anyone to feel happy that we’re going to play one game a week.»
Regarding the continuation of the season and the goals of the club, Savvidis underlined:
«The agreements with the players and their contracts were made with the ambition to play 55-60 games a year. The agreements will be honored even though the games will be fewer after the European exit. I demand full readiness from everyone, every week. I cannot understand that the coach and the players will not have the ideal conditions to cope with this. It goes without saying that a long and very successful chapter is closing and we have decided to begin a new one. There is a great renewal both in faces, personnel, and ideas, and we know very well that if we all work together in the same direction, soon this team will start a new chapter of great success.
The squad is not locked in and I have confidence that the coaching staff will create the best this team has to offer, develop the young players and instill in them the winning mentality that the older players have mastered. I demand more analysis and fixing of the injury problems so that the manager does not have to miss valuable players in important matches because their fitness was not analyzed properly.
In my life I have never aimed to be second. And in my business and in my life I am not satisfied with this. The goal for my team must be first place. The many changes, however, do need time and patience to pay off, and so we understand and support it, but always keeping in mind the victory in each next match. I ask you to think like this and together let’s start the year with optimism. To «force» people to embrace the team more. I am by your side, even from afar.»