Athens: Olympiakos Piraeus president Evangelos Marinakis has fined his team 500,000 euros ($558,900) for below-par performances which have seen them eliminated from Europe and endangered their domestic league and cup prospects.
The Greek champions` recent derby reverse to arch-rvials Panathinaikos, a 4-2 aggregate defeat by Ukraine`s Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the Europa League last 32 and a 1-1 Greek Cup draw with second division AEK Athens have left Marinakis fuming.
The outspoken shipping magnate made an appearance on Monday at the club’s training ground, where who is a frequent visitor, and gave a strong verbal warning to players and staff.
“I`ll tell you something very important and non-negotiable; Olympiakos is the largest Greek club and for each of you it is an honour to play for this team and for this club,” Marinakis told the players according to local media reports.
“You must have mutual respect and honour Olympiakos, and anyone who has a problem with that or doesn’t like it here, it’s time to have the guts to get up and leave -- and that applies to everyone.
“We understand your expectations and that you can get yourself in the shop window by playing in the Champions League here but as long as you`re playing for Olympiakos you will give everything and sacrifice for this shirt.”
Olympiakos, who sacked their Spanish manager Michel in January and replaced him with Portuguese Vitor Pereira, are three points ahead of Panathinaikos in the Super League standings with nine matches remaining.
But Marinakis warned there was no room for complacency.
“You must win the league championship and the Greek Cup, nothing else is in my mind right now, and it should be the same for you all,” he said.
Olympiakos are through to the quarter-finals of the Greek Cup where they visit second division AEK Athens in the return on March 10 following a 1-1 draw in last month`s first leg.