ATHENS (Reuters) - Financial strife continues to plague Greek soccer after cash-strapped Niki Volou were officially relegated from the Super League for financial reasons by the league’s disciplinary committee.
The struggling club, who have broken league rules by failing to pay players, have not been able to play their last five matches and are beset by a number of other administrative problems.
As a result, the team from Thessaly have been relegated from the 18-team Greek top flight and will start next season in the second tier Football League with a six-point deduction.
“Following Niki Volou FC’s failure to compete in their last five scheduled matches... they are prevented from participating in any further fixtures and are relegated from the championship to the next lower division, where they will start the new season with minus six points,” a Super League media statement said.
The club have also been ordered to pay a 10,000 euro (7,529 pounds) fine.
OFI Crete, meanwhile, are another club struggling for survival and could be heading the same way as Niki Volou.
The Cretan club, who have already seen Italian coach Genaro Gattuso walk out on them on Jan. 1, were deducted six points for failing to honour the contract of former player Aleksander Pesic last week.
A total of 21 players have left in protest over the failure to pay them, leaving coach Nikos Anastopoulos with only nine eligible senior players for a cup game at Panthrakikos on Wednesday and the league match with Olympiakos Piraeus this weekend.
Anastopoulos has been forced to use players from the youth academy.
Thanks to fundraising efforts by former OFI and Greece striker Nikos Machlas the club has yet to forfeit a match but according to reports, unless an investor comes to the rescue soon the situation will become unmanageable.
Editing by John O'Brien