PAOK Thessaloniki President and all-round lunatic Ivan Savvidis has earned himself a special place in football hell after appearing to carry a pistol onto the field during a pitch invasion in the Greek Super League.
The club chief was initially unhappy after seeing his side’s 90th minute winner chalked off by the referee for offside following consultation with his linesman.
PAOK would have gone one point clear of AEK Athens, their opponents, at the top of the table had Fernando Varela’s goal stood.
That prompted the first of two pitch invasions from Savvidis, who marched onto the field surrounded by bodyguards to confront match officials.
He was eventually taken off the pitch, though not before allegedly threatening AEK operations manager Vassilis Dimitriadis.
Savvidis wasn’t about to take the decision lying down though and returned again, minutes later, no longer wearing an overcoat and exposing what looked like a gun in a holster attached to his hip.
Though he never reached for the weapon, the incident did force the game to be suspended. More bizarrely still, some reports suggest the referee suspended the match at 1-0 to PAOK, meaning he eventually decided Varela’s goal would stand.
AEK is set to appeal the decision, with the matter now likely to be settled in court. PAOK, for their part, don’t appear to give much of a sh*t about what they have done.
“After what happened today, PAOK chairman Ivan Savvidis is preparing all necessary procedures to protect the team and all his collaborators from the threats and attacks they have been subjected to,” a statement, as translated by the Associated Press, reads.
“There will be relevant announcements on the issue soon.”
Apology accept…oh. Oh, they didn’t say that, did they?
Weirdly this isn’t the first time the club has been hit with controversy. PAOK actually had three points deducted after Olympiaos coach Oscar Garcia was hit in the face by a cash register roll.
That decision was eventually reversed. Well they do have a very convincing owner.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.