Ergotelis F.C.

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Ergotelis New Logo.png
Full name PAE Ergotelis
Nickname(s) Οι Κρητικοί (The Cretans)
Founded 7 August 1929; 85 years ago (1929-08-07)
Ground Pankritio Stadium
Ground Capacity 26,240
Owner Dimitris Papoutsakis
President Giannis Daskalakis
Manager Giannis Taousianis
League Football League
2014–15 Superleague Greece, 16th (Relegation)
Website Club home page
Current season

PAE Ergotelis (Greek: ΠΑΕ Εργοτέλης) is a Greek football club based in Heraklion, the largest city of the Greek island of Crete. The name itself, Ergotelis, was that of a famous ancient Cretan expatriate Olympic runner Ergoteles of Himera.


Early years[edit]

Ergotelis was established as an amateur club of Cretan footballers in 1929 by prominent Heraklion citizens, mainly refugees from Asia Minor. The club's foundation, as well as its first ever recorded game, a friendly 4-0 win against local side Leon (Greek: Λέων) held at Chandax (Greek: Χάνδαξ) stadium on August 4, 1929, was reported onto local newspaper 'Eleythera Skepsis' (Greek: Ελευθέρα Σκέψις) on Wednesday, 7 August 1929.[1] The newly founded football club was named after Ergoteles of Himera, an ancient Cnossian athlete and first Olympic champion native to the modern Heraklion prefecture.

Since its early days, Ergotelis showed the progressive ideals of its founders, being one of the first sports clubs in Greece to allow women into its sporting divisions, as well as its board of directors. The team gradually gained its own football ground on Martinengo Bastion, located on the Venetian Era walls surrounding the city's center, and would mostly play in local championships and Greece's national Second Division, after the latter was founded in the early 1960s.

Junta years, Theodorakis concert and repercussions[edit]

During the Greek military junta of 1967–1974, Ergotelis was 'branded' as an anti-national organization, after its board of directors allowed renowned songwriter and composer Mikis Theodorakis, a key voice against the right-wing government, to perform a concert on Martinengo stadium. Several months later, the club was relegated to amateur status by the passing of a new law, that allowed each regional city of Greece to be represented in the country's Second national Division by a single team. With many of the club's athletes moving on to local rival OFI - who remained in the national competitions, and members of its board of directors being prosecuted, Ergotelis was practically disbanded in 1967.[2]

After the junta's collapse in 1974, several attempts were made to bring the team back to Greek football reality, however most of these were met with failure. As a result, Ergotelis languished in the lower regional competitions for more than 30 years.[3] The most notable achievement of this period, was the Amateur Cup title won during the 1982-83 season.

Rebirth and rise to top-flight[edit]

In the late 1990s Ergotelis' new owners Georgios Soultatos and Nikos Tzortzoglou devised a plan that would lead to the club's resurrection. This would not only concern quality changes made to the club's roster, but also the foundation of Ergotelis' own training academies, intending to further boost the men's team with promising young talent. Within a couple of years, Ergotelis grew into a strong, competitive team that would celebrate three consecutive promotions and eventually made its debut in the Greek Superleague, thus becoming the second team to have represented Heraklion in the highest professional football league in Greece, alongside OFI F.C. This historical moment for the club was achieved by winning the promotion play-out match held at Makedonikos Stadium in Thessaloniki, against Akratitos F.C., who had finished 14th in the 2003-04 Alpha Ethniki season.[4] However, due to lack of experience, the team failed to avoid relegation in its first season in the league, and after finishing in 15th place, returned to the Beta Ethniki once again. However, the 2005–06 Beta Ethniki season saw Ergotelis return to good form, with Greek manager Nikos Karageorgiou taking over, achieving instant promotion to the Superleague after winning the division title.

Snapshot from an Ergotelis game.

Apostolos Papoutsakis era[edit]

In January 2008, Ergotelis came under the ownership of Heraklion businessman Apostolos Papoutsakis. During Papoutsakis' presidency, the club rose to prestigious standards in Greek football, which eventually earned Ergotelis the 2008-09 Fair Play award,[5] making Papoutsakis extremely popular amongst the fans of the club. Karageorgiou remained manager of the club for six seasons, in which the club saw a steady financial growth, mainly due to the transfers of promising young Greek players Dimitrios Kiliaras and Vasilios Koutsianikoulis[6] to Panionios and PAOK F.C. respectively.

During these years, Ergotelis would sporadically achieve memorable results against Greece's traditional football giants Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, including a 2–3 away competition win in the Athens Olympic Stadium against Panathinaikos on October 29, 2008 and a stunning 5-0 win against reigning champions Olympiacos in a friendly game commemorating Ergotelis' 80th anniversary on September 6, 2009. Outside the pitch, the club's board of directors would gain praise from the media for its initiative to sign international partnerships with Dutch side F.C. Utrecht [7] and State-side Philadelphia Union.[8] Moreover, Ergotelis organized a series of social and beneficial activities, which culminated in a concert held at Pankritio Stadium on September 19, 2011, honoring Mikis Theodorakis in commemoration of the 45 years passed since the controversial concert at Martinengo Stadium in 1966.[9]

Despite the club's gradual financial growth and status, which allowed room for signing stars such as Latvia's all-time top scorer Māris Verpakovskis and former Benfica midfielder Beto, most of the six seasons under Karageorgiou management saw Ergotelis struggling to avoid relegation, with the most notable achievement being an 8th place finish in the 2010-2011 season. The club's continuous weak form led to the fans highly criticizing Karageorgiou's choices, especially since Ergotelis would be the only Superleague team to never advance from the Greek Cup fourth round, often being willingly eliminated by clubs playing in lower divisions, due to the manager's claim that the focus should be fixed on avoiding relegation in the championship.

For the 2011-2012 season, the club's board of directors decided to cut down the team's budget, a direct result of the Greek economic crisis of the late 2000s. While the season took off on a promising start, subsequent weak performances, along with rising tensions between several of the club's players and the manager, ultimately failed to keep Ergotelis in top-flight. The team was relegated in the end of the season, after a disastrous second round which saw the club win only 2 of the total 15 matches, and thus return to the Football League after finishing in 14th place. To further add to the fans' pain, club president Papoutsakis passed away on July 23, 2012 at the age of 60.[10]

The next season saw Ergotelis go through a major overhaul on all fronts. Nikos Karageorgiou terminated his contract on mutual consent after six years of service, and former renowned Cypriot striker Siniša Gogić took over as manager of the team. The roster was rebuilt with youngsters from the club's training academies, as most of the club's veterans were either released, or refused to follow the team in the lower division. During mid-season, the club came to know financial instability after major shareholders announced they were stepping down. Despite these facts however, Ergotelis managed to secure a second place finish in the 2012-13 Football League marathon procedure, thus celebrating a third promotion to the Super League.

Crest and colours[edit]

Ergotelis' original home colours. Variations of this basic kit have been used throughout the 1950s and 60s.

Ergotelis' emblem depicts a football player wearing the club's traditional colours (yellow and black), surrounded by a laurel wreath, similar to the ones awarded to the ancient Olympic Games victors. The football player, possibly a reference to Ergotelis' original establishment as a football club, honours the athlete in general, while the Olympic crown is a reference to the Olympic champion Ergoteles of Himera, whom the club is named after.[11] During the 2008–09 season and up until the 2013–14 season, Ergotelis' crest included its major sponsor's title "DIETHNIS ENOSIS". (Greek: «ΔΙΕΘΝΗΣ ΕΝΩΣΙΣ»).[12] In 2009, the club issued an anniversary logo, which used a slightly darker palette and featured a smaller version of the laurel wreath and athlete, framed within a golden 80, part of the phrase "80 ΧΡΟΝΙΑ 1929-2009" (English: "80 YEARS 1929–2009"). Since the 2013–14 season, the club's crest simply reads "PAE Ergotelis".

As previously mentioned, the team's jersey colours are yellow and black. Early kits resembled the kit depicted in the club's crest, with black shorts and a yellow shirt, while black stripes and variations thereof were introduced in later years. Ergotelis' kits during the club's first seasons in the Super League were supplied by French company Le Coq Sportif. Afterwards, the team signed a contract with Italian company Lotto, which resulted in several iconic kits that in some cases have been re-used throughout multiple seasons. Ergotelis' partnership with Lotto was interrupted during the 2011–12 season in which the club wore kits produced by Macron.[citation needed] In 2013, Ergotelis started a two-year partnership deal with fellow Italian company Eye Sportwear, which designed and produced two custom kits, one for each of the 2013–14 and 2014–15 seasons, both patented by Ergotelis.

Eye Sportwear
Eye Sportwear

Rivalry with OFI[edit]

Main article: Cretan derby

The two Superleague clubs based in Heraklion, Ergotelis and OFI, maintain a rivalry that can be traced back to socio-political roots. Characteristic of this animosity, the first ever game between the two teams, a friendly match in 1929, ended after 35 minutes. Ergotelis were ahead by 1-0, when the game had to be abandoned after violence between the players broke out.[13]

During the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 a government legislation determined that every regional Greek city should be represented in professional divisions by a single football team. At that time, both OFI and Ergotelis used to play in the Second National division, and at the end of the 1966–1967 season, had finished in 3rd and 10th place respectively. Despite both clubs having secured their place in next year's edition of the tournament, Ergotelis was relegated to amateur status by law. Furthermore, the teams remaining in the second division were granted the rights to sign any number of players from the relegated clubs, and thus OFI signed contracts with 5 of Ergotelis' best considered players at the time.[14] Ergotelis' side claimed their relegation to be retaliation for allowing renowned left-liberal songwriter and composer Mikis Theodorakis to perform a concert in Martinengo stadium, giving political dimensions to the already strained relations between the two clubs. In the years to come Ergotelis languished in the lower leagues, while OFI prospered. These facts have led to various controversies among the fans of the two clubs, especially since Ergotelis' come back, at the early 00's.

In recent years, both sides have shown good will in maintaining this rivalry on the pitch only. Furthermore, OFI fans celebrated Ergotelis' promotion and attended home games during the club's first season in the Superleague. Ergotelis on the other hand, loaned their longtime scoring legend Patrick Ogunsoto to a financially weakened Beta Ethniki side OFI in 2010 for no fee, as an attempt to assist their prestigious rival in their struggle to once again return to the Super League.


Domestic Titles and honours[edit]


Most appearances in professional divisions[edit]

Player Matches
Nigeria Patrick Ogunsoto 178
Greece Fragiskos Economakis 158
Argentina Diego Romano 154
Austria Mario Hieblinger 154
Brazil Júnior 151

Top-scoring players in professional divisions[edit]

Player Goals
Nigeria Patrick Ogunsoto 97
Croatia Mario Budimir 24
Greece Stavros Labrakis 20
Argentina Diego Romano 18
Uruguay Sergio Leal 18

Current squad[edit]

As of 28 January 2015 [15]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
3 Greece DF Charalambos Lykogiannis (on loan from Greece Olympiacos)
5 Serbia DF Borislav Jovanović
8 Greece MF Antonis Bourselis
10 Greece MF Angelos Chanti (vice-captain)
11 Greece MF Vasilios Rentzas
13 Greece GK Anastasios Daskalakis
15 France MF Yann Boé-Kane
16 Greece MF Konstantinos Kaznaferis
17 Greece DF Manolis Tzanakakis (on loan from Greece Olympiacos)
19 Brazil MF Elton Calé
20 Greece MF Bruno Chalkiadakis
22 Greece MF Chrysovalantis Kozoronis (third captain)
23 Greece MF Leonardo Koutris
No. Position Player
24 Greece DF Minas Pitsos (captain)
25 Latvia DF Kaspars Gorkšs
26 France DF Cyriaque Louvion
31 Greece GK Zacharias Kavousakis
33 Greece MF Savvas Gentsoglou
50 Serbia GK Bojan Šaranov
70 Greece GK Giannis Dermitzakis
77 Comoros MF Mohamed Youssouf
88 France MF Greg Houla
91 Serbia FW Vladimir Đilas
93 Nigeria FW Michael Olaitan (on loan from Greece Olympiacos)
99 Serbia FW Nikola Stojanović

Players out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Greece FW Sokratis Evaggelou (at Greece Irodotos until 30 June 2015)
Greece FW Giannis Domatas (at Greece Ermionida until 30 June 2015)
Greece FW Georgios Pamlidis (at Greece Larissa until 30 June 2015)
No. Position Player
Greece DF Epaminondas Pantelakis (at Greece Fostiras until 30 June 2015)
Greece DF Manolis Genitsaridis (at Greece Fostiras until 30 June 2015)

Out of team[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
42 Brazil MF Alan
90 Ukraine MF Andriy Bohdanov

U-20 Squad[edit]

As of 26 September 2014

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Greece GK Alexandros Mylonakis
Greece GK Ioannis Panagiotou
Greece DF Antonis Vasilakis
Greece DF Dionis Lika
Greece DF Antonis Papoutsidakis
Greece DF Vasilios Pirounakis
Greece DF Nikolaos Sifakis
Greece DF Argyris Tournakis
Greece DF Georgios Charkoutsakis
Greece DF Ioannis Chrysofakis
Greece MF Vasilios Vogiatzis
Greece MF Konstantinos Epitropakis
No. Position Player
Greece MF Georgios Memos
Greece MF David Beruashvilli
Greece MF Nikolaos Mpikiaris
Greece MF Georgios Polyxronakis
Greece MF Keivi Tsakani
Greece MF Rafael Genaris
Greece MF Manolis Foukarakis
Albania FW Mario Nokaj
United Kingdom FW Wolfgang Sereinig
Greece FW Manolis Lemonias
Greece FW Georgios Lydakis
Greece FW Georgios Manousakis


Position Name
Owner Dimitris Papoutsakis
President Giannis Daskalakis
Vice President Giannis Rallis
Member Vasilis Syggenidis
Member Georgios Vasiliadis
Member Giannis Mentzakis

Technical staff[edit]

Pavlos Dermitzakis, last manager of Ergotelis.
Position Name Nationality
Head Coach Giannis Taousianis Greece
Assistant Coach Vasilis Plesitis Greece
Fitness Coach Nikos Koundourakis Greece
Goalkeepers Coach Georgios Mountakis Greece
General Manager Stavros Labrakis Greece
Medical staff
Club doctor Sifis Christoforakis Greece
Club doctor Nikos Androulakis Greece
Physiotherapist Aposotolos Fyrgadis Greece
Masseur Dimitris Darivianakis Greece
Masseur Markos Migklis Greece
Youth teams technical staff
U-20 Head Coach Vasilis Plesitis Greece
U-20 Fitness Coach Nikos Sourgias Greece
U-17 Head Coach Antonis Fragkakis Greece
U-17 Fitness Coach Stelios Velegrakis Greece
U-15 Head Coach Antonis Apostolakis Greece
U-15 Fitness Coach Stelios Velegrakis Greece

Managerial History[edit]

  • Greece Manolis Patemtzis (1999–00)
  • Greece Myron Sifakis (2000–01)
  • Greece Pavlos Dermitzakis (2001–02)
  • Greece Myron Sifakis (2002 – April 4, 2005)
  • Greece Manolis Patemtzis (2005–06)
  • Greece Nikos Karageorgiou (Feb 1, 2006 – June 30, 2012)
  • Cyprus Siniša Gogić (June 29, 2012 – April 17, 2013)
  • Greece Stavros Labrakis (interim) (April 17, 2013 – June 30, 2013)
  • Greece Giannis Petrakis (July 1, 2013 – January 13, 2014)
  • Greece Marinos Ouzounidis (January 20, 2014 – May 14, 2014)
  • Spain Juan Ferrando (July 3, 2014 – September 1, 2014)
  • Greece Pavlos Dermitzakis (September 5, 2014 – December 15, 2014)
  • Greece Giannis Taousianis (December 15, 2014 – February 12, 2015)
  • Greece Ioannis Matzourakis (February 12, 2015 – February 25, 2015)
  • Greece Giannis Taousianis (February 25, 2015 –)


  1. ^ Ergotelis Official Site: History Section (Greek)
  2. ^ Υποβιβάστηκε γιατί δρούσε αντεθνικώς (Relegated because of anti-national acts) (Greek)
  3. ^ The rough guide to Crete By John Fisher, Geoff Garvey Page 93 ISBN 1-85828-696-4
  4. ^ "Ο Εργοτέλης "γκρέμισε" τον Ακράτητο από την Α' Εθνική (Ergotelis "demolished" Akratitos from Alpha Ethniki)" (in Greek). Skai TV. 30 May 2004. 
  5. ^ "Βραβειο Fair Play (Fair Play Award)" (in Greek). Ergotelis F.C. Official site. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Συμφωνία για «Μέσι»
  7. ^ "Samenweking met het Griekse Ergotelis (Partnership with Greek Ergotelis)" (in Dutch). FC Utrecht Official site. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Union, Ergotelis Hitting It Off in Crete". Philadelphia Union Official site. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  9. ^ (Ergotelis honours the great Mikis Theodorakis) Ο Εργοτέλης τίμησε τον μεγάλο Μίκη Θεοδωράκη (in Greek). Ergotelis F.C. Official site. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  10. ^ 23-07-2012: ΑΝΑΓΓΕΛΙΑ (23-07-2012: ANNOUNCEMENT)
  11. ^ Η ιστορία και ο συμβολισμός των σημάτων History and symbolism in Greek football club logos
  12. ^ Ημέρα αποκαλυπτηρίων...
  14. ^ (Greek): "Όταν η χούντα «εκτέλεσε» το ποδόσφαιρο" (When the Junta "executed" (Greek) football)
  15. ^ "Ergotelis squad" (in Greek). Ergotelis F.C. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]