AEK F.C. : Athletic Union of
AEK F.C. Foundation: 1924
AEK F.C. Team Colors: Yellow & Black
AEK F.C. Stadium: O.A.K.A – Athens Olympic Stadium (Capacity: 74,443)
AEK F.C. History
AEK was established in 1924 by refugees from Constantinople who came into Greece after the elimination of their nation in the West coast of Turkey in 1922. That coast had been dominated by the Greek element for thousands of years. The Greeks of Constantinople, Smyrni and every other spot of the coast who had achieved great things for centuries were forced to move towards mother Greece. The Greek refugees settled throughout the country and helped with its development in every sector.
In 1929, Prime Minister of Greece Eleftherios Venizelos gave permission for the place where AEK Stadium would have been standing for 79 years, to be granted to AEK F.C. in Nea Filadelphia. Three years later, the period from 1931-1932, AEK F.C. gained its first Cup beating Aris F.C. with 5-3 at the final.
AEK in the 30’s
AEK made its way to “double” in 1939 (the first one in Greece) and they were again champions of 1940 with Kostas Negrepontis to guide them as their coach this time. That team’s route unfortunately ended due to the World War II.
AEK in the 40’s
In 1949 and 1950 with the English Jack Bibie as their coach, AEK F.C. got the Greek Cup beating Panathinaikos F.C. 2-1 and Aris F.C. 4-0.
AEK in the 60’s
In 1963 AEK F.C. became the champion with the Hungarian-German Geneh Tsaknadi as their coach.
AEK in the 70’s
Loukas Barlos took over as a president in AEK F.C. and together with the Dutch-Czech coach Frandicheck Fadrock “built” one of the best teams in the club’s history. Great players arrived in Nea Filadelphia: Ardizoglou, Dedes, Skrekis and the Germans Wagner, Chanlinder in 1974, Thomas Mavros in 1975 (who played from 1976) and Nikoloudis, Intzoglou and Christidis in 1976.
In 1976-77 AEK F.C. reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup where it didn’t make it to the final eliminated by Juventus F.C. AEK F.C. gained easily the Championship, while for the Greek Cup, AEK qualified over Panathinaikos FC (1-0), and Olympiakos FC (6-1) and dominated PAOK FC at the final (2-0), gaining the “double”.
During period 1978-79 with Ferencs Pouskas as head coach and with a new transfer Mimis Domazos, AEK F.C. managed to win again the championship. Under the presidency of Loukas Barlos, the construction of AEK Stadium was completed
AEK in the 80’s
In 1983 AEK F.C. gained the Greek cup with the Austrian Helmut Senekovic as head coach. The first professional title appeared in 1988-89 with Stratos Gidopoulos as president and Dusan Bajevic as head coach. In the crucial match against the other candidate, Olympiakos FC, at the Olympic Stadium of Athens, AEK F.C. prevailed with Takis Karagiozopoulos’ goal and won the championship.
AEK in the 90’s
The 90’s was a decade full of titles. The beginning was made in 1992 when AEK FC was crowned champion under the presidency of Kostas Generakis. After that AEK FC with Dusan Bajevic as a head coach created a team that in many people’s opinion played the best football in club’s history. With players like Toni Savevski, Stelios Manolas, Daniel Batista, Vaios Karagiannis, Giorgos Savvidis, Vasilis Dimitriadis, AEK FC dominated in Greece and easily acquired 1993 and 1994 league titles.
In season 1994-95 the two victories against the champions of Scotland Glasgow Rangers, was the ticket to the first appearance in UEFA Champions League competition. In the group phase, AEK F.C. was eliminated by AFC Ajax and AC Milan who both made it to the final.
With the president Mihalis Trohanas and the coach Dusan Bajevic, AEK F.C. won the Greek Cup of 1996. One year later (1997) the success came again but this time coach of the team was Petros Ravousis.
AEK from 2000 until today
In 2000 AEK F.C. won the Greek Cup with Ioannis Pathiakakis as head coach. They overcame Ionikos in the final (3-0) with goals from Nikolaidis, Petkov and Maladenis.
AEK F.C. gained the Greek Cup again in 2001-02 with Fernando Santos as head coach. In the final at the Olympic Stadium of Athens won Olympiakos FC with 2-1.
Throughout season 2003-04 economical problems and the demolition of its stadium, made AEK FC struggling for its survival. The club was ready to declare bankruptcy when Demis Nikolaidis and a group of investors took over and started paying AEK FC debts. Due to a court decision AEK FC depts were reduced as money owed to former creditors were written off.
The team moved to the renovated Olympic Stadium, many players left (Zagorakis. Lakis, Tsiartas, Kapsis, Kasapis, Okkas, Borbokis, Kreek) but Fernando Santos returned with the goal to build the team from the beginning based on young players and lead again AEK FC to the road of victories. AEK FC made a very good season and was one of the three challengers for the championship title. Finally AEK FC finished 3rd behind Olympiakos and Panathinaikos.
A key factor to AEK FC revival was the dynamic fans come back. AEK FC had an average of 27.500 spectators at the club’s home games.
Particularly in football, AEK F.C. has 27 national titles in its record (11 Football Championships, 13 Football Cups, 2 Football Super Cups, 1Football League Cup) while it has fittingly represented Greece in European competitions considering its course to the semi-finals of UEFA Football Cup (1976-77) as its top moment.
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