|Full name||Panthessalonikeios Athlitikós Ómilos Konstantinoupoliton|
|Nickname(s)||Dikefalos tou Vorra (Two Headed Eagle of the North)
Aspromavroi (Black and Whites)
|Founded||1877 (as Hermes Sports Club in Constantinople)
12 April 1926 in Thessaloniki
|2013–14||Superleague Greece, 2nd|
|Website||Club home page|
Panthessalonikeios Athlitikós Ómilos Konstantinoupoliton (Greek: Πανθεσσαλονίκειος Αθλητικός Όμιλος Κωνσταντινουπολιτών, Pan-Thessalonican Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans), commonly known as PAOK (Greek: ΠΑΟΚ, pronounced [ˈpa.ok]) is a Greek association football club from Thessaloniki, Macedonia in Northern Greece.
PAOK currently play in the top-flight Superleague Greece and it's the sole representative of Thessaloniki in the first national class of Greek football, which they have won twice. The club plays at the Toumba Stadium.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Foundation and the early years
- 1.2 1953–1970: Recognition
- 1.3 1970–1985: The golden years
- 1.4 1985–1996: The first decline
- 1.5 1996–2004: Revitalization and return to trophies
- 1.6 2004–07: The second decline and near-destruction
- 1.7 2007–10: The Zagorakis plan
- 1.8 2010–12: The years after Fernando Santos
- 1.9 2012–present: The Ivan Savvidis era
- 2 Facilities
- 3 Support
- 4 Rivalries
- 5 Players
- 6 Management
- 7 League performance and statistics
- 8 UEFA competitions
- 9 Honours
- 10 Shirt and sponsor history
- 11 Club anthem
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
|This article or section may be slanted towards recent events. (August 2011)|
Foundation and the early years
PAOK FC is the oldest division of PAOK Sports Club, the succession of Hermes Sports Club (Greek: Ερμής), which was formed in 1877 by the Greek community of Pera, a district of Istanbul.
That situation, however, came to an abrupt end after the Greco-Turkish War, when most players emigrated to Greece. Left behind was a club consisting of the residents that remained (later called Politakia). Those who fled[why?] settled in Thessaloniki and established PAOK. The first name (1925) of the new team was Aek Thessaloniki (Constantinopolitans of Thessaloniki) but after one year PAOK was created as a will for a more open and bigger club. The other clubs which are continuity of the Hermes are the Beyoğlu SK and A.E.K. Athens F.C..
The club's first charter was approved on 20 April 1926 by means of decision of the Thessaloniki Court of First Instance (No. 822). PAOK's first emblem, adopted in 1926 was a four-leaved clover and a horseshoe. The leaves were green with the letters PAOK marked on each of them, a symbol devised by Kostas Koemtzopoulos (president of Pera Club).
The club's founding members were:
T. Triantafyllidis (1st Chairman), Xasan Kioprulu (2nd Chairman), A. Angelopoulos(3rd Chairman), A. Athanasiadis, K. Anagnostidis, M. Ventourellis, A. Dimitriadis, D. Dimitriadis, N. Zoumboulidis, M. Theodosiadis, T. Ioakimopoulos, P. Kalpaktsoglou, T. Kartsambekis, D. Koemtzopoulos, K. Koemtzopoulos, P. Kontopoulos, K. Kritikos, M. Konstantinidis, P. Maletskas, I. Nikolaidis, L. Papadopoulos,F. Gamospitos, F. Samantzopoulos, T. Tsoulkas, M. Tsoulkas, S. Triantafyllidis
After two months of preparation by the team following the club's establishment, it was decided that the team should compete against the other teams in Thessaloniki. The first match of the club was a win against Iraklis on 26 July 1925 by 2–1. Two weeks later, PAOK lost 5–2 to Aris.
The vision of the club's founders and the whole PAOK community of establishing a home ground became reality in 1928 following much effort and thus on 12 December 1930 the Syntrivaniou Football Ground was officially opened. This was followed by a friendly match against Aris with PAOK winning 2–1.
The first professional contract was a document of historic importance. It was signed by the Club on 5 September 1928. The contract stipulated that the French footballer Raymond Etienne of Hebrew descent from Peraclub would be paid 4,000 drachmas per month. The contract was signed by Dr. Meletiou (PAOK Chairman) and Mr. Sakellaropoulos, Hon. Secretary. 
Following the merger with AEK Thessaloniki in 1929, PAOK changed its emblem. The new emblem became the double-headed eagle of the Byzantine Empire, which it remains to this day, indicating the heritage of the emigrants from Istanbul. The difference between the PAOK eagle is that its wings folded and the colors are black and white, to symbolize the black of mourning for the tragic story of lost homelands, and white for the hope of a better tomorrow.
The first foreign coach in the history of the team was the German Rudolph Ganser, who served with PAOK for the 1931–32 season.
Following World War II and the German occupation of Greece, the team known as the "Two-Headed Eagle" entered upon a shining chapter in its career starting at the beginning of the 1950s. Willi Sevcik, an Austrian coach (1950–1952) who had worn the PAOK jersey in 1931–32, established a young talent academy within the club which gave rise to leading names who later left their mark, such as Leandros Symeonidis, Giannelos, Margaritis, Giorgos Havanidis, and others.
1953 marked the beginning of PAOK's golden age. During the summer transfer period, Kouiroukidis, Petridis, Progios, Geroudis, Kermanidis, Hourvouliadis, Hasiotis and Angelidis all joined the club. PAOK became all-powerful, winning the Thessaloniki championship for three successive years and becoming a worthy representative of Greece's second city in the "national" championship.
In 1957, the club managers envisioned a new football ground since the old ground had been annexed by the state. The choice was a piece of land belonging to the National Defence Fund in the Toumba District, which was also a neighbourhood closely associated with refugees from Asia Minor. A total area of 30,000 x2 was acquired by PAOK for a significant price, and construction of the new football ground began. Lottery tickets were even issued to aid construction of the new stadium, which was eventually opened on 6 September 1959 by the Minister of National Defence, Mr. G. Themelis. Before the first kick-off, an Air Force plane dropped a ball on a fly-past as a symbolic donation from the armed forces. Thanks to its new Ground, PAOK was ready to start a brilliant career starting with the new First Division established in 1959.
At the opening of the 1st Division's first championship on 25 October 1959, PAOK welcomed the Katerini team Megas Alexandros, beating them 3–1. The team line-up was as follows: Žarko Mihajlović (Serbian) and Progios, Hasiotis, Raptopoulos, Giannelos, Kemanidis, Havanidis, Leandros, Kiourtzis, Kouiroukidis, Salousto and Nikolaidis.
The success of the 1950s was followed by a decade of average performance during the 60's. One could say that it was as if the club was building up its strength to unleash it during the next decade.
1970–1985: The golden years
The team became established as one of the best ever to play at Greek football grounds with players whose names became legendary for the Greek football. It was a team which set several records, led by president Giorgos Pantelakis.
PAOK was able to make a blow to the football powers of Athens, winning the Championship in 1976, preceded by triumphs in the Cup, in 1972 and 1974. 1976 also marked the foundation of Gate 4, PAOK's greatest organized fanbase.
Up to 1974, while Greece was governed by a military junta, PAOK had not only a football power, but also an anti-dictatorship symbol of sorts, and Toumba stadium became a harbor of fan anti-junta slogans.
Les Shannon, who once played for high-ranking English clubs such as Liverpool and Burnley, was one the many causes for PAOK's success as he led them to win the Greek football cup in 1972 and 1974. He is still heralded as a hero in Greek football today.
PAOK's excellent performance continued during the early 1980s, with the club being one of the regular title contenders. The highest point came in 1985, when the club won its second Greek Championship, its first trophy since Greek football became professional. Another characteristic of the 1980s was the ever-growing fanaticism of the fans, which reached levels of hooliganism never seen before, and began to move beyond Greece's borders, spurring the creation of fanbases in cities all over Europe by the Greek diaspora. However, the obsession shown by fans also had its downside, translating in quite a few cases into outbreaks of violence which entailed penalties and fines being imposed on the club.
At the European level, the club made its best performance ever, qualifying for the quarter finals of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1973–74, where they were knocked out by the Italian team Milan. PAOK also made a memorable appearance against German giants Bayern Munich in the UEFA cup in 1983–84, where it was knocked out on penalties after two goalless draws.
1985–1996: The first decline
The 1990s started well, with PAOK firmly among the top three teams in Greece. It was stigmatized, however, by an extremely average-to-poor team performance under the chairmanship of Thomas Voulinos, who came into direct conflict with the fans following serious hooliganism episodes during a PAOK–Paris Saint-Germain match for the UEFA Cup, which led to PAOK's exclusion from UEFA European competitions for five years and very soon to financial ruin.
1996–2004: Revitalization and return to trophies
In 1996, the change long demanded by PAOK fans came about. Voulinos handed over the reins of the club to Giorgos Batatoudis and an air of optimism was tangible everywhere in Thessaloniki. Numerous transfers of well-known players such as Percy Olivares, Zisis Vryzas, Spyros Marangos, Kostas Fratzeskos, and others took place under the new administration.
In 1997, having served its five-year ban, PAOK eventually qualified for the UEFA Cup with coach Angelos Anastasiadis, a legendary former PAOK player, on the bench. The club's reappearance at European level was marked by an astonishing elimination of legendary English club Arsenal. PAOK was eliminated on the next round by the then powerful Atlético Madrid.
However, the new team did not prove equally successful in the domestic league, again finishing fourth in 1997–1998 despite great optimism. The club's continuing inability to break the dominance of the "big three" in the league resulted in several changes in managers over the following three years. By the end of the 1997–1998 season Anastasiadis was sacked and Oleg Blokhin reprised his position as PAOK's manager after five years. Yet, unable to make any considerable improvements, Blokhin himself only stayed for a few months, and was again replaced by Anastasiadis in late 1998. He himself stayed only till February 1999, and was again replaced in favor of Arie Haan, who, like Blokhin, returned after a four-year gap. By December 1999, in fitting fashion, Haan was himself sacked, to be replaced by star coach Dušan Bajević.
PAOK was firmly established among the top teams in the Greek league, but once again growing financial problems and unstable administration by Batatoudis meant they still could not keep up with the three major league contenders of Athens. Nevertheless, Bajevic led the club to their first throphy in 16 years, winning an unforgettable Greek Cup final against Olympiacos in 2001, with an emphatic 2–4 score.
Angelos Anastasiadis was once again summoned, as Bajevic did not renew his contract in the summer of 2002. Anastasiadis led the club to another Cup triumph, the second in three years. It was in the club's home ground in Toumba Stadium, that PAOK celebrated their fourth Greek Cup, defeating arch-rivals Aris Thessaloniki F.C. 1–0. Despite these triumphs, however, debts continued to plague the club, and some successes in the UEFA Cup were short-lived.
2004–07: The second decline and near-destruction
In late summer of 2003, under great pressure from fans, Batatoudis handed his shares to businessmen Giannis Goumenos and Vassilis Pagonis. Giannis Goumenos also assumed the presidency, under the motto of a "temporary administration". This meant that his role would be to try to facilitate a possible deal with people willing to make the hefty investments required to save the club from its debts.
The 2003–04 season was an unexpected success – under the management of Anastasiadis, and although in accordance to a tight financial policy (in order to decrease the debts, leading many key players to leave as free agents for other clubs, including eventual champions Olympiacos), they managed to finish third and to secure participation in the qualifying rounds of the following year's UEFA Champions League. The prospect of the Champions League group stage brought great optimism to fans and management alike, especially because the projected income would practically eliminate all debts.
Unfortunately the team failed to qualify, as they were knocked out by unlikely opponents Maccabi Tel Aviv in the third qualifying round. The main reason was that in the home game, Anastasiadis fielded Liassos Louka, a Cypriot player who was still serving a two-match ban in UEFA competitions (for his sending-off in a UEFA Intertoto Cup tie while playing for Nea Salamis on 8 July 2000). Though the game did finish 1–2 for Maccabi, the 0–3 forfeit win awarded to the Israelis destroyed all hope PAOK had for a comeback, and the rematch lost all interest (4–0 aggregate loss). After the subsequent UEFA Cup elimination by AZ Alkmaar, Anastasiadis resigned. Thus, the 2004–2005 season started with the worst omens for the club and for Goumenos.
Instead of making any improvements, Goumenos administration failed miserably in the next two years, as the club's debt to the Greek state (due to constant tax evasions, interests and unpaid fines) continued to grow, and on top of that, the financial management of the club itself was ever deteriorating.
Rolf Fringer was appointed as new coach in September 2004, replacing Anastasiadis, yet did not live up to expectaions, managing Anastasiadis' former squad which mostly consisted of youngsters. After a few games, Fringer was eventually replaced by Nikos Karageorgiou, leading the club to a fifth-place finish in May 2005, and a UEFA Cup qualification.
The 2005–06 season started with better omens, yet proved to be the most turbulent. Apart from the return of legendary former captain Theodoros Zagorakis in the summer of 2005 from Bologna FC, signings of key players like Marcin Mieciel, Fatih Akyel and Shikabala took place. Despite this, another mediocre league start led Karageorgiou to be sacked as well, and replaced by former technical director Giorgos Kostikos. Kostikos did manage good performances in the autumn of 2005, including an unexpected away win at Olympiacos FC, and a thrilling qualification to the UEFA Cup group stages. However, after the winter break, the squad fared from bad to worse, suffering a handful of successive defeats, which led Kostikos to the exit as well, replaced by Ilie Dumitrescu. By now Goumenos had set a new record for the club, by laying off five different coaches in just 16 months. While the club did achieve UEFA cup qualification by finishing in sixth place, uncertainty was more than tangible.
By the end of May 2006, the club's dramatic situation started to emerge, with players openly declaring they are unpaid for months, plus a shock decision by UEFA to ban the club from participating in the upcoming UEFA Cup brought the club one step from complete ruin, with the organized fanbase launching an all-out war on Giannis Goumenos in the June 2006, going as far as to occupy the club's offices in Toumba stadium for a handful of days. The situation was ever worsening for Goumenos, after many failed deals with possible investors, constant allegations of embezzlement, and especially his decision to sell star player Dimitris Salpingidis to Panathinaikos, in an effort to cash in. The latter had a profound impact, causing a lot of disgust in the already disappointed fans.
The 2006–07 season started with PAOK unsure if they could even manage to participate in the Greek League, due to the pressing debts. Little-known players like Carlos Zegarra and Miguel Rebosio were signed, in an effort to fill the squad, and Dumitrescu settled with ultra-defensive tactics, as the means to earn what points he could – resulting in terrible quality football, tiring fans and rapidly diminishing ticket sales.
Eventually, Goumenos was forced to withdraw from the presidency in 13 November 2006 (though he would not relinquish his shares until over two years later). He was replaced by Nikos Vezyrtzis and Apostolos Oikonomidis, former shareholders in PAOK BC. The new management was appointed under order of the District Court of Thessaloniki, as the club was now essentially under state observation, owing to the huge debt to the Greek state which by now was well over €30 million.
The club fared little better in remainder of the season. Managerial changes continued as ever – Momcilo Vukotic replaced Dumitrescu in October 2006, only to be sacked himself five months later, in favor of Giorgos Paraschos. PAOK eventually finished the 2006–2007 season in 6th place, losing out on the UEFA Cup spots, and little hope of breaking its shackles, as the fans continued to put very little trust in the Vezyrtzis-Oikonomidis duo and the needed investments seemed highly unlikely.
2007–10: The Zagorakis plan
In the summer of 2007, Theodoros Zagorakis assumed presidency of the club, replacing the Vezyrtzis-Oikonomidis administration and thus ushered in a new era. One of the new management's first actions was to lay down a three-year plan: the first year priority would be to take action the club's massive crippling debts, beginning in 2007–08, the second would be to qualify for the UEFA Cup again, and the third would be to become a major league title contender once again.
Yet because of the tremendous financial breakdown in the past four years, the club was left with a low quality roster and almost no prospect of any summer transfers. Yet, due to hope and trust of the traditional fanbase in the iconic figure of Zagorakis, the summer of 2007 saw an unprecedented rise in season ticket sales, toppling all previous club records, and bringing a much-needed influx of cash for the club. This allowed the transfers of seasoned – though relatively cheap, being free agents – players like Vassilis Lakis, Ifeanyi Udeze, and Glen Salmon, and also the return of veteran PAOK and Perugia striker Zisis Vryzas. Many older debts to former players and managers, could finally be paid off.
The plan's first season was still plagued by poor performances, including many home defeats and an elimination from the Greek Cup by second division club Thrasyvoulos. The early replacement of coach Giorgos Paraschos by established manager Fernando Santos did little to prevent a ninth place finish in the league, the worst performance by the club in 11 years. One of the few high points was the winter transfer of star player Sérgio Conceição.
The club's finances, however, gradually improved, and – thanks to the continuing massive support from fans in the form of season tickets, as well as many new sponsorship deals – the summer of 2008 saw the transfers of widely known internationals like Pablo Contreras, Zlatan Muslimović, Pablo García to the club, among others. Many of them were attributed to Zisis Vryzas, who had meanwhile decided to retire in January 2008 to assume the place of technical director for the club.
In January 2009, Zagorakis announced the club's intention of building a new training facility complex in Nea Mesimvria, Thessaloniki. The club had already acquired land from the municipality of Agios Athanasios in the previous summer, and by February construction was already under way.
The end of the 2008–09 season found PAOK in second place, eight points behind champions Olympiacos, the best place the club had taken since 1985, and well above what was expected in the summer. This success, however was short-lived, as the club failed to retain their place in the recently erected league playoffs, finishing fourth and missing out on the second UEFA Champions League berth to Panathinaikos. Nevertheless, the club secured a spot in the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
Despite the League playoff failure, the 2009–10 season started with the best omens for the club, as once again the response to the summer sales of season tickets was enormous, despite the hefty increase in prices. Numerous transfers once again took place, including former Racing de Santander player Vitolo, experienced defender Bruno Cirillo, and star youngster Vasilios Koutsianikoulis, the club's costliest transfer in many years. Key players' contracts, like Olivier Sorlin and Vieirinha, were also renewed.
The new squad did not manage to live up to expectations immediately, suffering a painful (especially in financial terms) UEFA Cup elimination by Dutch club Heerenveen. To make matters worse, the first few games of 2009 found the club struggling in low positions. Despite that, the squad gradually started to climb to the first places, and starting on 5 December 2009, managed a 13-game unbeaten streak, including memorable wins against Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, solidifying the club as one of the main league title contenders. This run was not without setbacks, as the club suffered another shock elimination, this time from the Greek Cup, at the hands of recently promoted PAS Giannena.
The unbeaten streak ended in late March, when successive derby defeats by Aris and AEK, effectively ended any hope of winning the championship. However, the club redeemed itself in the league play-offs by finishing first, with impressive consecutive wins against Aris Thessaloniki F.C., AEK F.C. and twice against Olympiakos F.C.. Thus, PAOK was eligible to compete in the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
2010–12: The years after Fernando Santos
The three-year plan ended as a perceived success; PAOK was transformed from a miserable, rapidly collapsing club to a major championship contender once again, filling Toumba stadium on a regular basis, and having constantly positive finances, despite the burden of the still unsettled debt to the Greek state.
The 2010 league playoff success was swiftly followed by Fernando Santos' announcement of his decision to depart, having concluded his three-year contract. It was eventually decided in mid-June that Mario Beretta would be his successor, following negotiations with numerous other Italian managers by Zisis Vryzas.
The club's first – and much speculated – transfer was the return of prodigal son Dimitris Salpingidis for the next four years, whose contract with Panathinaikos had just expired in June. The first dumors initially caused some controversy among the organized fan base, though Salpingidis was eventually welcomed back by the vast majority of fans, very much in light of his huge potential as a striker.
As the squad made several awful appearances in its pre-season friendly matches (notably losing to Kickers Offenbach by 3–1), alarming fans and management alike, Theodoros Zagorakis finally decided to fire Beretta and his staff on 22 July, just one week prior to the club's away match in Amsterdam. Beretta was quickly replaced with Pavlos Dermitzakis, veteran PAOK player and Zagorakis' initial choice before reverting to Beretta. Beretta also became the shortest-lived PAOK coach ever, sitting on the bench for just 38 days.
With Dermitzakis at the helm, PAOK faced Ajax and was ultimately eliminated on the away goals rule, managing a 1–1 draw in Amsterdam and a thrilling 3–3 draw in Thessaloniki. Entering the UEFA Europa League playoff round, PAOK were drawn against Turkish club Fenerbahçe, also eliminated on the Champions League third qualifying round. This time, PAOK fared much better and after winning the home game 1–0 in Thessaloniki, secured a memorable 1–1 draw in Istanbul after extra time, qualifying for the group stage, and being drawn to play alongside Villarreal CF, Club Brugge and Dinamo Zagreb.
Unfortunately, such excellent performances did not continue in the first fixtures of the Greek league. Unsuccessful results included a stinging 0–1 home loss to arch-rival Aris FC (the first home loss in twelve years), and although the European campaign was on track (with a draw against Brugge and a win against Dinamo Zagreb) many key players received harsh criticism from the fans, not as much for the bad results, as for their apparent lack of passion, which they showed against Ajax and Fenerbaçhe. Dermitzakis was not excluded from criticism, and was thought to be losing control over his players discipline by engaging in personal conflicts.
Another hands-down defeat against Panathinaikos cemented the belief that the team cannot be improved under Dermitzakis, leading to his removal on 17 October. His assistant Makis Chavos replaced him as caretaker coach. At first fans were asking for a quick replace of Chavos by a European-range coach, but after a streak of four wins in the Greek Superleague and a home 1–0 win against Villarreal CF in the UEFA Europe League group stage, Chavos started to be considered as a useful solution as long as the team remained tranquil and was indeed signed as the permanent coach in mid-December.
PAOK ended their Europa League group stage campaign with an emphatic win 0–1 at GNK Dinamo Zagreb, qualifying second after Villarreal CF. They were later drawn to face PFC CSKA Moscow on the first knock-out round in February. The first game in Toumba ended 0–1 and, due to the 1–1 result in Moscow, PAOK was eliminated from the next phase of 2010–11 UEFA Champions League play-off round. In the 2010-2011 season, PAOK finished 4th in the regular season and secured a place in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round by finishing 2nd in the playoff round. PAOK board appointed the experienced Romanian coach László Bölöni.Under the leadership of Bölöni PAOK UEFA Europa League playoff round and enter the group stage once again despide the many injured players the club had. In 30 November 2011, PAOK achieved a historic and thoroughly deserved victory, against English club Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, with a 2–1 scoreline. With this victory, the club quilified for the round of 32 of the Europa League for a second consecutive year.There PAOK faced Udinese after a 0-0 draw in Udine and a 0-3 loss in Toumpa PAOK was eliminated from the next phase of 2011–12 UEFA Champions League play-off round.
On 25 January 2012 after 0-1 home loss against Atromitos and a long period with grumbling fans due to selling or letting go of some of the best players of the team such as Vieirinha and Pablo Contreras, Theodoros Zagorakis resigned from president of the team and Zisis Vryzas took his place.In this season, PAOK finished 4th in the regular season and secured a place in the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round by finishing 3rd[clarification needed] in the playoff round.
2012–present: The Ivan Savvidis era
In the summer of 2012 and after several months of negotiations Ivan Savvidis became the new major shareholder of PAOK. He invested 12 million euros, 2 of them as a loan to the club in May 2012. The new shareholder of PAOK established a new financial policy at the club in order to pay off the vast debts which were created by the previous administrations. The club would under this new policies use more players from the academies rather than buying costly foreign players. Former players turned presidents Thodoris Zagorakis and Zisis Vryzas were utilized in the football operations of the club, whilst Savvidis also appointed some of his own staff in key positions. The PAOK board appointed the Greek coach Giorgos Donis in the summer of 2012 after terminating the contract with former coach László Bölöni.
PAOK entered the Europa League 3rd Qualification Round and with a 0-2 away and 4-1 home win over Bnei Yehuda qualified for the Play–Off Round, where the club faced Rapid Wien but was eliminated after a 2-1 home win and a 3-0 away defeat. The elimination was a serious financial blow to the club since the economic profits from a qualification would cover over half of the team's budget for the 2012-2013 season. PAOK finished the season in 2nd place during the regular period, qualifying for the Superleague playoffs. After a string of disappointing losses towards the latter half of the season resulting in a loss in the semi final of the Greek Cup and a bad start in the playoffs Giorgos Donis was replaced by Technical Director and former player Georgios Georgiadis, who was appointed caretaker manager. PAOK managed to win qualification for the Third Qualifying Round of the UEFA Champions League in the playoffs after a last game win against PAS Giannina. In June 2013 PAOK appointed Huub Stevens as their new coach, with Ton Lokhoff as the assistant coach.
PAOK beaten its record in the UEFA Champions League, qualifying to the play-off round of the competition. Initially defeated by Metalist Kharkiv, in the third qualification round, PAOK was reinstalled in the Champions League as a result of UEFA found Metalist guilty of match fixing in the Ukrainian Premier League in contravention of international regulations. PAOK didn't manage to beat Schalke 04 and qualify for the group stage of the competition for first time in their history after a 2-3 home and 1-1 away score and Schalke winning on aggregate.
Year Built: 1959 (Last time rebuilt in 2004, due to the 2004 Summer Olympics, hosted in Greece, Athens.)
Capacity: 28,703 seats
Ownership: AS PAOK Thessaloniki
Used By: PAOK and PAOK Youth Team
Ioannis Dedeoglou who donated the land that the PAOK Sports Arena was built on has also offered to donate land next door to build a new Toumba of around 40,000 seats. However, PAOK's management has shown no interest and prefer to stick with the old Toumba.
PAOK has its own training facilities for all squads located at the PAOK Sports Center.
Affiliate and Feeder Clubs
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2011)|
Gate 4 is where the largest PAOK supporters clubs assemble. They generally support all clubs within the PAOK Sports Society, and mostly wear black and white symbols, which are the club's colors. The group as a whole traditionally maintains good relations with the Serbian FK Partizan football club supporters Grobari, as well as with the fans of OFI Crete, a friendship that is supported by annual exchange of tickets and always excellent atmosphere on their matches.
Gate 4 members are known to be fanatic supporters of their team, using firecrackers and fireworks to generate a supportive atmosphere for their team. On the other hand, Toumba Stadium is notorious for its hostility to opposing teams, which has earned it the moniker of "black hell".
The rivalry between Olympiacos and PAOK, is long-standing, emerging in the 1960s, when the infamous case of Giorgos Koudas' transfer from PAOK to Olympiacos took place. The rivalry is mainly fueled by the corresponding rivalry that exists in many aspects between Athens and Thessaloniki.
A deep-seated hatred also exists between PAOK and local rivals Aris Thessaloniki, which has culminated in two memorable Greek Cup finals between them, each club winning one. On an annual basis, fierce derbies are contested for the Greek League, frequently accompanied by violent outbreaks on and off the pitch.
First team Squad
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- As of 23 August 2013 
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
MVP of Season
Retired PAOK FC Numbers
- 12 – in honour of the fans, considered the "12th player" of the team in the pitch.
- 17 – in honour of Panagiotis Katsouris, a PAOK player that died in 1998 in a car accident.
Notable former players
For all players of PAOK FC see 
List of Former Foreign Players in Greece since 1959/60
Kit evolution the past years
Board of Directors
Under 20 Technical Staff
PAOK F.C. managers from 1970 onwards:
|1970–71|| Ivica Horvat
|1985–86|| Walter Skocik
|1971–72||Les Shannon||1986–87||Thijs Libregts||2001–02|
|1972–73||1987–88|| Thijs Libregts
|2002–03||Angelos Anastasiadis (Aug 2002–Sept 2004)|
|1973–74||1988–89|| Rinus Israël
|1974–75|| Les Shannon
|1989–90||Rob Jacobs||2004–05|| Angelos Anastasiadis
Rolf Fringer (Sept 2004–Feb 2005)
Nikos Karageorgiou (Feb 2005–Sept 2005)
|1975–76||Gyula Lóránt||1990–91|| Rob Jacobs
|2005–06|| Nikos Karageorgiou
Giorgos Kostikos (Sept 2005–Feb 2006)
Ilie Dumitrescu (Feb 2006–Oct 2006)
|1976–77|| Branko Stanković
|1991–92|| Miroslav Blažević (Sept 1991–March 1992)
|2006–07|| Ilie Dumitrescu
Momčilo Vukotić (Oct 2006–Jan 2007)
Giorgos Paraschos (Jan 2007–Sept 2007)
|1977–78|| Billy Bingham
|1992–93|| Ljupko Petrović (Sept 1992–Jan 1993)
|2007–08|| Giorgos Paraschos
Fernando Santos (Sept 2007–June 2010)
|1978–79||Egon Piechaczek||1993–94|| Oleg Blokhin (Feb 1993–Feb 1994)
|1979–80|| Egon Piechaczek
|1980–81|| Gyula Lóránt
|1995–96|| Arie Haan (Aug 1994–Oct 1995)
Dragan Kokotovic (Nov 1995–Feb 1996)
|2010–11|| Mario Beretta (June 2010–July 2010)
Pavlos Dermitzakis (July 2010–Oct 2010)
Makis Chavos (Oct 2010–June 2011)
|1981–82||Heinz Höher||1996–97|| Gunder Bengtsson
Christos Archontidis (Dec 1996–Feb 1997)
|2011–12||László Bölöni (June 2011–June 2012)|
|1982–83||1997–98||Angelos Anastasiadis||2012–13|| Giorgos Donis (June 2012–April 2013)
Georgios Georgiadis (April 2013–June 2013)
|1983–84||Pál Csernai||1998–99|| Oleg Blokhin (Aug 1998–Sept 1998)
Angelos Anastasiadis (Sept 1998–Feb 1999)
Arie Haan (Feb 1999–Nov 1999)
|2013–14|| Huub Stevens (June 2013–Mar 2014)
Georgios Georgiadis (Mar 2014–May 2014)
|1984–85||Walter Skocik||1999–00|| Arie Haan
Dušan Bajević (Jan 2000–May 2)
|2014–15||Angelos Anastasiadis (June 2014–)|
- Fernando Santos is the longest serving manager (2 years and 10 months) and Mario Beretta is the shortest (38 days).
- Angelos Anastasiadis is the overall longest serving manager (4 years an 2 months), in three distinct terms.
P.A.O.K. F.C. presidents
- As of 13 September 2013 
League performance and statistics
|Season||Pos.||W. – D. – L.||Goals||Points||Season||Pos.||W. – D. – L.||Goals||Points||Season||Pos.||W. – D. – L.||Goals||Points||Season||Pos.||W. – D. – L.||Goals||Points|
|1959–60||7||10 – 9 – 11||32–32||59||1976–77||
|21 – 10 – 3||63–27||52||1993–94||5||14 – 9 – 11||45–38||51||2010–11||
|14 – 6 – 10||32–29||48|
|1960–61||10||7 – 15 – 8||31–33||59||1977–78||
|16 – 14 – 4||48–24||46||1994–95||
|20 – 5 – 9||55–29||65||2011–12||5||14 – 8 – 8||45–27||50|
|1961–62||6||12 – 6 – 12||32–43||60||1978–79||
|18 – 9 – 7||73–23||45||1995–96||14||10 – 11 – 13||42–46||38 (−3 p.)||2012–13||
|18 – 8 – 4||46–19||62|
|13 – 8 – 9||44–34||64||1979–80||5||17 – 7 – 10||53–33||41||1996–97||
|19 – 9 – 6||53–28||66|
|1963–64||8||10 – 7 – 13||22–30||56 (−1 p.)||1980–81||
|15 – 12 – 7||52–31||42||1997–98||
|21 – 7 – 6||74–41||70|
|1964–65||8||9 – 10 – 11||29–33||58||1981–82||
|18 – 10 – 6||55–22||46||1998–99||
|19 – 5 – 10||52–31||62|
|1965–66||6||10 – 9 – 11||43–49||59||1982–83||
|18 – 6 – 10||49–28||42||1999–00||5||15 – 10 – 9||64–44||55|
|13 – 11 – 6||36–20||67||1983–84||5||11 – 13 – 6||33–29||45||2000–01||
|14 – 9 – 7||66–48||51|
|1967–68||9||13 – 7 – 14||45–40||67||1984–85||
|19 – 8 – 3||54–26||46||2001–02||
|14 – 6 – 6||55–45||48|
|1968–69||5||16 – 10 – 8||58–37||76||1985–86||10||10 – 7 – 13||33–38||27||2002–03||
|16 – 5 – 9||59–38||53|
|1969–70||5||12 – 17 – 5||52–25||75||1986–87||5||13 – 9 – 8||39–23||29 (−6 p.)||2003–04||
|18 – 6 – 6||47–27||60|
|1970–71||8||12 – 10 – 12||38–32||68||1987–88||
|17 – 5 – 8||60–27||39||2004–05||5||13 – 7 – 10||43–39||46|
|1971–72||5||18 – 10 – 6||53–27||80||1988–89||8||11 – 10 – 9||34–30||32||2005–06||6||13 – 7 – 10||44–31||46|
|27 – 4 – 3||75–24||92||1989–90||
|19 – 8 – 7||49–26||46||2006–07||6||13 – 6 – 11||32–29||45|
|16 – 11 – 7||62–32||43||1990–91||
|16 – 9 – 9||56–39||38 (−3 p.)||2007–08||9||10 – 5 – 15||29–35||35|
|19 – 8 – 7||73–28||46||1991–92||
|13 – 13 – 8||44–44||39||2008–09||
|18 – 9 – 3||39–16||63|
|21 – 7 – 2||60–17||49||1992–93||5||17 – 6 – 11||52–38||57||2009–10||
|19 – 5 – 6||41–16||62|
- At 1986–87: had 3 nullified matches, resulting in −6 points.
- Point system: 1959–60 to 1972–73: 3–2–1. 1973–74 to 1991–92: 2–1–0. 1992–93 onwards: 3–1–0.
Most league appearances and Top scorers
- As of 18 May 2014
PAOK has participated in every UEFA sanctioned competition except for the Champions League. On many occasions, mostly in the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, PAOK managed to eliminate famous European clubs, and the club's name was made known outside Greek borders as well. Also highlighted were the club's fanatically obsessed fans, massively following the club on every occasion.
PAOK's best Cup Winner's cup performance was in the 1973–74 season, when they reached the quarter-finals of the competition. Eliminating Legia Warsaw and Olympique Lyonnais on the way, PAOK were finally eliminated by Milan. After a 3–0 defeat at the San Siro, PAOK were held to a 2–2 draw at Toumba Stadium and knocked out.
The most recent European-level achievement was the elimination of Turkish club Fenerbahçe in the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League playoff round, and the subsequent group stage success against Villareal CF, Dinamo Zagreb and Club Brugge. This campaign ended in Russia against CSKA Moscow, with PAOK however going down with no less than a hard fight.
- The club's biggest win in a European competition was 7–0 against Lokomotivi Tbilisi in 1999, while the heaviest defeat was 0–6 to Wiener SC in 1965.
- PAOK also holds the second place in the record for consecutive participations in the UEFA Cup, one behind Club Brugge. The club had participated in the UEFA Cup nine times in a row from 1997–98 up to 2005–06. PAOK missed the chance to tie with Brugge in 2006, as the club was banned by UEFA from taking part in the 2006–07 season of the UEFA Cup, despite having qualified, because of the club's long-unsettled debts.
- Total Titles: 6
- Alpha Ethniki
- Greek Cup
- Greater Greece Cup
- Winners (1): 1973
- EPSM Championship
- Winners (7): 1936-37, 1947-48, 1949-50, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1955-56, 1956-57,
Shirt and sponsor history
The shirt and sponsors history the last 41 years:
|Season||Kit manuf.||Main shirt partner||Season||Kit manuf.||Main shirt partner||Season||Kit manuf.||Main shirt partner|
|1983–84||Suzuki||2003–04||EKO Oil and Gas|
|1985–86||Asics||Doperman Fashion||2005–06||Egnatia Insurance|
|1988–89||Coplam Building Prod.||2008–09|
|1990–91||Agno Dairy Company||2010–11||Pame Stoihima|
- PAOK (The Sports Club as a whole)
- P.A.O.K. Thessaloniki B.C. - Basketball
- P.A.O.K. Thessaloniki H.C. - Handball
- P.A.O.K. Thessaloniki V.C. - Volleyball
- Toumba Stadium (PAOK Football Stadium)
- "Εποχή Σαββίδη στον ΠΑΟΚ με επένδυση 20 εκατ. ευρώ στην ΠΑΕ (Savvidis' era at PAOK with 10M Euro investment)" (in Greek). Thessaloniki: In.gr. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "The unknown first foreign player of PAOK Raymond Ettienne". paokmania.gr. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "Tottenham Hotspur - PAOK FC 1-2". paokfc.gr. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Συμφωνία με Huub Stevens" (in Greek). PAOK F.C. Official Website. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "Ο Ton Lokhoff βοηθός προπονητή" (in Greek). PAOK F.C. Official Website. 17 June 2013.
- "Toumba Stadium".
- http://www.paokfc.gr/omada/k-20/=13 july 2013
- "PAOK F.C. Players".
- "Foreign Players in Greece since 1959/60".
- "Board of Directors".
- "Technical Staff".
- "Medical Staff".
- http://www.fcpaok.gr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3741=13 September 2013
- http://www.paokfc.gr/sillogos/istoria/titloi/11 January 2014
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to PAOK football.|
- The Official Website of PAOK FC (Greek) (English)
- The Official Boutique of PAOK FC (Greek) (English)
- PAOK Thessaloniki History – PAOK Thessaloniki History provided on behalf of Melbourne Club PAOK (English)
- PAOK FC UEFA.com