The former Greek champions failed to meet financial requirements resulting in their suspension from UEFA until the 2020/21 season.

Panathinaikos are going through one of its most difficult periods this season in the Super League, struggling in 10th place.
Panathinaikos are going through one of its most difficult periods this season in the Super League, struggling in 10th place. (Reuters Archive)

Former Greek champions Panathinaikos have been banned from European competition for three seasons after failing to meet financial requirements, European soccer's governing body UEFA said on Tuesday.

Panathinaikos, former European Cup finalists, have fallen on hard times in recent years. The club has undergone several changes of ownership structure and suffered dire financial problems.

UEFA said the club had been given a March 1 deadline to settle issues with creditors but had failed to do so.

"The Adjudicatory Chamber confirmed that Panathinaikos FC is excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next three seasons," UEFA said in a statement.

"The Adjudicatory Chamber also ordered that the amount of 100,000 euros ($122,350) as part of the total fine of 200,000 euros is no longer suspended and is due immediately."

Panathinaikos are currently in 10th place in Greece's official Superleague standings and have no hope of competing in Europe next season.

Panathinaikos were found in December to be in breach of the overdue payables requirement of UEFA's club licensing and financial fair play regulations and were fined.

That fine was suspended, pending the March deadline.

The Greek championship has this season been tarnished by crowd violence involving several clubs and there have also been investigations by prosecutors into corruption.

Play was even suspended for weeks after PAOK club boss Ivan Savvidis stormed onto the pitch with a gun in his belt during a league game against AEK Athens last month.

World soccer's governing body FIFA has threatened to exclude Greece from international competition and will discuss the state of Greek football in the coming weeks.

Source: Reuters