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PAOK emblem 2010.svg
Full name Panthessalonikeios Athlitikós Ómilos Constantinoupoliton
Nickname Dikefalos Tou Vorra (Two Headed Eagle of the North)
Founded 1926
Colours           Black, White
(Mimis Traiforos Petros Giannakos)
Chairman Thanasis Katsaris
Titles European Titles: (2)
Website Club home page
Active departments of P.A.O.K.
Football pictogram.svg
Football pictogram.svg
Basketball pictogram.svg
Football (Men's)
Football (Women's)
Basketball (Men's)
Basketball pictogram.svg
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Handball pictogram.svg
Basketball (Women's)
Water polo pictogram.svg
Swimming pictogram.svg
Wrestling pictogram.svg
Water Polo
Boxing pictogram.svg!
Olympic pictogram Taekwondo.png
Weightlifting pictogram.svg
Cycling (road) pictogram.svg
Athletics pictogram.svg
Field hockey pictogram.svg

Panthessalonikeios Athlitikós Ómilos Constantinoupoliton (Greek: Πανθεσσαλονίκειος Αθλητικός Όμιλος Κωνσταντινοπολιτών, Pan-Thessalonian Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans), abbreviated P.A.O.K. (Greek: Π.Α.Ο.Κ.) or A.C. PAOK[1][2] (Α.Σ. Π.Α.Ο.Κ.),[3][4][5][6] is a major multi-sports club in Thessaloniki, Greece. The club is home to several teams, including football, basketball, volleyball, handball, water polo, swimming, wrestling, ice hockey, and weightlifting. PAOK was founded in 1926. Because of its crest, it is also known as the "Two-Headed Eagle of the North", in contrast with AEK, the "Two-Headed Eagle of the South". They are one of the most popular Greek clubs with millions of fans all over Greece (mostly in Northern Greece but not only), such as the Greek diaspora.


The football team in 1926

P.A.O.K. is the historical continuation of the Hermes Athletic and Cultural Association from the Pera area of Constantinople (present day Istanbul), established by Greek residents of the city in 1875.[citation needed] The need for Constantinople's Greek residents to express and support their Hellenism within Ottoman Turkey was what led to the creation of this club.[citation needed] In 1923, following the failed Greek invasion of Asia Minor and the agreed population swap between Greece and the newly established Turkish Republic, the Greeks of Constantinople renamed their club Pera.[citation needed] The club won many cups and continued to have a strong presence in the sporting sector. However, that situation did not last long. Most players were forced[clarification needed] to flee, leaving behind a team, renamed Politakia, consisting of residents of Constantinople. Those who fled settled in Thessaloniki and in 1926 established P.A.O.K., retaining their Greek symbols: the twin-headed eagle of the Byzantine Empire, and black and white for their colors, to symbolize the black of mourning for the tragic story of lost homelands, and white for the hope of a better tomorrow. This club history—stretching back to the 19th century—in effect makes P.A.O.K. one of Greece's oldest athletic clubs, but it also means that it shoulders a heavy historical burden.

The club's first charter was approved on 20 April 1926 by a decision of the Thessaloniki Court of First Instance (No. 822).

The club's founding members were A. Angelopoulos, A. Athanassiadis, K. Anagnostidis, M. Ventourellis, F. Vyzantinos,V.Karapiperis, 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. Samantzopoulos, T. Tsoulkas, M. Tsoulkas, S. Triantafyllidis, and T. Triantafyllidis (who was also its first Chairman).[7]

P.A.O.K.'s first Board of Directors, serving between 1926 and 1927, consisted of:

  • T. Triantafyllidis (Chairman)
  • P. Kalpaktsoglou (1st Vice-Chairman)
  • A. Athanassiadis (2nd Vice Chairman)
  • V. Karapiperis (3rd Vice Chairman)
  • K. Kritikos (Hon. Secretary)
  • M. Tsoulkas (Secretary)
  • T. Ioakimopoulos (Treasurer)
  • A. Angelopoulos (Football Steward)
  • M. Konstantinidis (Director)
  • S. Triantafyllidis (Director)

After the club's establishment and two months of preparation, the team began competing against the other teams in Thessaloniki. The desire to see the new team compete led many to the Iraklis Football Ground on 26 July 1925, where the club won 2–1. The first professional contract was signed by the Club on 5 September 1928. The contract stipulated that the footballer Etien, who had come from the Constantinople club Peraclub, would be paid 4,000 drachmas per month. The contract was signed by Dr. Meletiou (P.A.O.K. Chairman) and Mr. Sakellaropoulos, Hon. Secretary. The Syntrivaniou Football Ground was officially opened on 12 December 1930 as a home base. This was followed by a friendly match against Aris with the home team winning 2–1.


Byzantine two-headed eagle

Created by Constantinopolitans, the new club nevertheless was open to every citizen of Thessaloniki, leading to a minor rivalry with AEK Thessaloniki, the other Constantinopolitan team of the city, in which played only refugees. The original logo of PAOK was a horseshoe and a four-leaf clover.

Finally the two teams were merged in one in 1929. The current one sice 1929 is the two-headed eagle. The eagle symbolizes the origins of the club in the former Byzantine capital, Constantinople, and the legacy of the Greek refugees from the Ottoman Empire.


P.A.O.K.'s main rivals are the teams of Olympiacos, Aris, Panathinaikos, AEK, and Iraklis. The biggest rivalry is against Olympiacos and second with arch-rivals Aris. The derby against Olympiacos is the fiercest, representing more than any other, the animosity between Athens and Thessaloniki. The rivalry started in the 1960s when Olympiacos tried, and failed, to sign Giorgos Koudas, one of the best players of his time, from P.A.O.K., through direct negotiations with the player.

PAOK departments[edit]

Flag used by PAOK FC
PAOK fans in Toumba Stadium
P.A.O.K. Sports Arena, home ground of basketball and volleyball teams

Men's football[edit]

Women's football[edit]

The women's football department has its beginnings in 1984 with the creation of AO Heliopolis. Later in 1996 several players left Heliopolis and created Olympiada 96. Six years later the team had a lot of problems and faced bankruptcy so Olympiada 96 joined PAOK and AS PAOK took over in 2002.


  • Greek A Division
    • Winners (10) (record): 2001-02, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15
  • Greek Cup
    • Winners (4) (record): 2001-02, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014-15





Men's handball[edit]


Women's handball[edit]




    • 3 Greek women's Open Athletics Championships: 1976, 1977, 1982
    • 2 Greek women's Cross Country Championships : 1968, 1974

Women's swimming[edit]


  • 1 Greek OPEN Championship: 1987



  • 1 Greek Championships: 2006



  • 2 Greek Championships: 2003, 2007

Tae Kwon Do[edit]

PAOK became the first club in 2002 with a Tae Kwon Do department. Currently, over 50 active athletes practice daily in Gate 8 in Toumba Stadium.

Noted Athletes[edit]

  • Michalis Akritidis
    • 1st in 2003 Northern Greek Championship
  • Themistoklis Akritidis
    • 2nd in 2003 Northern Greek Championship
  • Basiliki Anastasiou
    • 1st in 2003 Northern Greek Championship
    • 5th place in Panhellenic Championship
  • Xanthipi Koukoumaka
    • 1st in Northern Greek Championship


  1. ^ eurohandball.com A.C. PAOK
  2. ^ uefa.com 2013/14 entries and coefficients
  3. ^ acpaok.gr (Greek)
  4. ^ chessfed.gr (Greek)
  5. ^ sport-fm.gr (Greek)
  6. ^ onsports.gr (Greek)
  7. ^ PaokFc.gr

External links[edit]