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24.07.2009 - 17:44h. [ Comenta la noticia ]
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Kostas Vassiliadis' Blog in BasketMe: Basketball crisis in Greece


Hola from Thessaloniki!

First of all, really sorry for being so late in writing anything at all, but the situation had been strange at least, to put it rather mildly. After having to leave PAOK and Greece for reasons beyond my will – financial problems that is, I guess you remember – I went to Italy to play for Premiata Montegranaro. Trying to adjust to a totally different team at the end of January hadn’t been the easiest thing in the world, but the people had been great with me and everything went much better than I had originally expected, since the club worked on a much more professional basis and I had had the chance to totally focus on what I was doing, that is playing basketball.

The first three months had been just fine, I was playing well, I had to chance to work and both the team and I were very happy about working together. And then came my injury that left me out of the team’s last crucial games, something that really upset me because I really wanted to help and the worst thing for me, anyway, is not being able to play, watching the game from the bench. But things like that happen in our line of work all the time and you can do nothing about it, except praying that it happens as rarely as possible. Thank God it’s all past me now…



Coming back to Thessaloniki I just confirmed what I already knew… The situation with most of the teams, except for Panathinaikos and Olympiakos, is really bad. The financial crisis is apparent and is having a huge impact with most of the Greek Clubs. Owners declare that they are leaving their teams, no transactions are being made, budgets are getting smaller, even by half, and there is tremendous insecurity as to where this is going to lead. Of course, the crisis is not just a Greek phenomenon. Basketball could not be immune to a global situation that has been affecting our lives for some time now.

The problem in Greece is that there is no real infrastructure. Most of the clubs live day by day, there has never been long term planning, budgets are almost solely depended upon owners, and the situation seems to be only sliding downwards. I only wish they could all pick up some ideas on how things work in Europe and try to imply some of these strategies here to see some results…



Thinking in general terms however, I guess the crisis can be beneficial in some ways… Prices will inevitably be suppressed and this can lead to a more healthy and stable situation, since both clubs and players will be forced to agree on more logical terms and start living on more realistic expectations, which will inevitably lead to stabilization.

As far as I’m concerned, well I don’t know what is going to happen next year… I definitely though want to play outside Greece. And my first option would be Spain. It’s the best league in Europe and I feel that I can cope with what is needed both as an athlete and as a person. I would love the opportunity to be in Spain again, although Italy is still a very good option for me. It will all come down to examining my options and deciding what is the best thing for my future.

Hope I’ll be seeing you then…



KOSTAS VASSILIADIS


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