AEK FC owner Melissanidis departs, transfers stake to shipowner Marios Iliopoulos

AEK Athens FC owner Dimitris Melissanidis, the most influential officer in the history of AEK, announced on Monday that he would leave, transferring the majority stake he holds to shipowner Marios Iliopoulos.

Iliopoulos was presented to the press at OPAP Arena in Nea Filadelphia the same afternoon.

When he announced his departure, Melissanidis – owner of Naftemboriki newspaper and Aegean Oil – had served three terms as owner (since 2013), the last one of which lasted 11 years and is considered his most successful one in the football club’s administration. It was the period when the construction of AEK’s new stadium (OPAP Arena) began and completed construction, while the football team rose the ranks to win two championships and two cups in Greece, while it returned to Champions League standing.

“On my side, I wanted to find the right moment to leave AEK after I had fulfilled my promise 11 years ago for a powerful AEK that will not be in need of any Melissanidis,” he told fans, “An AEK financially independent, for the first time in its history, which I am leaving in very good hands.”

He also reminded fans, “We began from zero together, and we brought AEK where it should be. Together we created the bases for the new great yellow and black era,” referring to the team’s colors.