Panionios F.C.

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Panionios FC.png
Full nameΠανιώνιος Γυμναστικός Σύλλογος Σμύρνης
Paniόnios Gymnastikόs Sýllogos Smýrnis
(Pan-Ionian Gymnastic Club of Smyrna)
Founded14 September 1890; 129 years ago (1890-09-14)
as Orpheus Smyrni
GroundNea Smyrni Stadium
Owner(s)Ioannis Raftopoulos (67%)
PresidentChristos Daras
Head coachNikki Papavasiliou
LeagueSuper League 1
2018–19Super League, 6th
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Panionios G.S.S. Football Club (Greek: ΠΑΕ Πανιώνιος Γ.Σ.Σ. (Πανιώνιος Γυμναστικός Σύλλογος Σμύρνης, Panionios Gymnastikos Syllogos Smyrnis), the Pan-Ionian Gymnastics Club of Smyrna, more commonly known as Panionios F.C. or simply Panionios, is a Greek association football club based in Nea Smyrni, Athens. Part of Panionios G.S.S. (founded in 1890 in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire), Panionios F.C. is the oldest Greek football club.[1]

In the wake of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–22) and the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, the multi-sport club Panionios G.S.S. was transferred to Athens. They have won two Greek Cups (in 1979 and 1998), while they were runners-up in the Greek Championship during the 1950–51 and 1970–71 seasons. They have won also the 1971 Balkans Cup[2] and reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1998–99 season.

The team currently competes in the Super League Greece. They play their home games in Nea Smyrni Stadium with a capacity of 11,700 seats.


Early years[edit]

The club was founded in 1890 by a part of the sizeable Greek population of Smyrna (Greek: Σμύρνη), under the name of "Orpheus Music and Sports Club".[3] In 1893, some Orpheus members keen on sports formed a separate organization, the "Gymnasion Club", and started holding yearly sports competitions. In 1898, Orpheus and Gymnasion merged again to form Panionios GSS.[4] Members of Panionios represented Greece in all international track and field games until these developed in the modern Olympic Games.

After the Greek military defeat in 1922 the club was forced to transfer, firstly to Athens and later, to the Athenian suburb of New Smyrna, where much of the population of Smyrna re-settled. The club always had a strong tradition of cultivating all major sports; it was the first Greek club to establish a track and field division for women, in 1925. Another major example of the club's contribution to Greek sports rests in the fact that it was Panionios that introduced Basketball and Volleyball in Greek sports society.

With the gradual transformation of men's football and basketball into professional sports, Panionios FC and Panionios BC became privately owned clubs operating under the auspices of the traditional "amateur sports" Panionios GSS. To date, Panionios remains the only sports club in Greece that was awarded the Golden Cross from the Athens Academy as a recognition of the club's rich and continuous enrichment of Greek sports.[5]

Recent years[edit]

Panionios has spent nearly its entire history in the Greek First Division (now called 'Super League'), having missed out from competing in Greek football's top division only twice in its more than 100-year history.[citation needed] Within this, Panionios rose quite often to high levels, with top achievement in terms of the league being the 2nd position that the club reached in 1971, losing the title from AEK Athens.[6] After 8 years, specifically on June 9, 1979, Panionios took his revenge back from AEK Athens in the final of the Greek Cup and conquering the title for the first time in his history after winning 3–1.[7][8]

Panionios has produced all three major Greek strikers of the 1980s, namely Nikos Anastopoulos[9] (later of Olympiacos), Thomas Mavros[10] (later of AEK Athens), and Dimitris Saravakos[11] (later of Panathinaikos). Other notable players coming out of the club in the 1990s include Nikos Tsiantakis (later of Olympiacos) and Takis Fyssas, later of Panathinaikos, Benfica and member of Greek national team. Within the 2000s another five Greek national team players came out from the club, namely Alexandros Tziolis, Evangelos Mantzios, Nikos Spiropoulos, Grigoris Makos and Giannis Maniatis.

The club had faced financial difficulties which triggered the transfer of the ownership to the municipality of Nea Smyrni in 1992. Those difficulties remained all through the 1990s forcing the team's league performance to drop. Yet, it remained in a high level and won the Greek Football Cup competition in 1998[12][13] and participate successfully in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup the year after, reaching the quarter-finals. In December 2001 large part of the club's shares moved away from the Municipality back to private hands, where working around bankruptcy legislation the club was renamed to Neos Panionios FC, to avoid the threat of relegation from the first division.

Constantinos Tsakiris period[edit]

In 2004, shipowner Constantinos Tsakiris was elected president of the "amateur sports" Panionios GSS.[14] Panionios won the women's Basketball Championship in 2006,[15] the club's first in a team sport, and the women's volleyball team advanced to the first division. In 2006, Tsakiris acquired 85% of Neos Panionios FC stock and started restructuring the team from scratch.[16] He changed the name of the club back to the original Panionios GSS FC[17] and hired German coach Ewald Lienen[18] who, during his first year created a team that made it to the top 5 of the Greek Super League and on to the UEFA Cup. Tsakiris has also unveiled an ambitious plan to have the aging football ground and athletics track demolished, and build a modern multi-sport arena in its place. Apart from a 12,000 capacity football stadium, the proposed complex would include facilities for basketball, volleyball, aquatic sports, track & field, boxing, gymnastics, wrestling and more.[19]

On the summer transfer window of 2008, the club signed Uruguay national team members Álvaro Recoba[20] and Fabián Estoyanoff,[21] but shortly after Lienen resigned by mutual consent on November 11, 2008,[22] reason being disagreement with the Panionios' board.[23] On November 12, 2008 Greek coach Takis Lemonis was hired [24] and resigned on December 3, 2008 after the refuse of Panionios' board to accept Lemonis' request to dismiss three members of Panionio's coaching and management staff.[25][26] Assistant coach Joti Stamatopoulos lead the club until the end of the season. He was replaced by Belgian manager Emilio Ferrera.[27]

Under the Tsakiris presidency, the club built its own training facility just outside Athens in the region of Koropi. The training ground is operating since 2008 but was fully completed in 2009.[28][29][30]


Nea Smyrni Stadium, West Stand

In November 1937, Panionios G.S.S. Board of Directors led by President D. Karabatis and the Municipality of Nea Smyrni agreed to relocate the club in Nea Smyrni, the Athens suburb that was mainly inhabited by Greek World War I refugees coming from Smyrna, the club's historical home. Construction works started in 1938, and were completed one year later.

In the summer of 1940 the first football matches take place, with the club donating the money to support the repair of Greek Warship "Elli" which was hit by Italian forces on World War II. On September later that year Panionios G.S.S. celebrated its 50th year together with the completion of building the new stadium. Since then it has been used constantly for over 70 years from Panionios G.S.S. associated clubs and sports divisions.

Improvement works have been undertaken in 2001 and 2003 including a cafeteria, Panionios G.S.S. sports shop, press and office facilities, improved medical and player facilities etc. Additionally a roof was placed above the East wing of the stadium.[31] In 2009 Panionios G.S.S. installed an electronic ticketing system on the stadium to improve security in the team's matches.[32][33]

Despite the improvements the core fan base of the team as well as its management strongly support that the old stadium is inadequate to cover the team's needs in terms of quality of services provided to the fans. Additionally, there are safety concerns as the stadium does not have enough entry and exit points in case of emergency.[34]

The highest attendance ever recorded was in 1974 against Panathinaikos with 20,950 spectators. After the installation of seats and the reduction of the stadium's capacity there have been numerous matches with full attendance mainly in European competitions. The most recent ticket 'sold-out' was against Panathinaikos in 2008.

Apart from Panionios G.S.S. and its associated youth teams, the stadium was used for decades from Panionios G.S.S. athletes on track & field and numerous times from the Greek National U-21 and U-23 football teams. Additionally, due to the closing of many stadiums for renovation for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Nea Smyrni stadium was partly used from other football clubs as well. Those included AEK Athens for the first half of the 2003–04 football season and Olympiacos for one match in February 2003 against OFI. Last it has been the venue site for the 2004 Greek Cup final played by Panathinaikos and Olympiacos.[35]

Due to its densely populated location, Nea Smyrni stadium has rarely been used as a concert site. The most famous concert ever taken place was Metallica's first appearance in Greece on June 27, 1993.[36][37][38]

Crest and colours[edit]


The first emblem of Panionios in Smyrna was a figure of Nike.[39] In the mid-1990s, when the group belonged to the municipality of Nea Smyrni, a new emblem was introduced, influenced by the Barcelona mark. In this the shield had striped blue-colored colors and at the top left the Greek flag of the land and on the right an Ionic-style capital on a red background, referring to the Hellenism of the union and its Ionian roots. A similar crest has Panionios of Kalamata. Tsakiris reinstated the classic emblem of the club, the emblem that the club now uses, a shield with the colours of the group (cyan and red), used by the Greeks of the Ottoman Empire in a variety of events (for example the Hellenic-Ethos naval flag).


Panionios' colours are blue, red and white, mainly used as trim or as an alternative. However, after the destruction of Smyrna the colours for some took a different interpretation. The red is the blood of the Greeks who shed the persecution and the blue, the color of Greece. On the appearances of the team there was a characteristic diagonial strip, which can be seen today in the crest of the team.

2013–14 (A)
2014–15 (A)

Current sponsorships:

  • Great Shirt Sponsor:
  • Official Sport Clothing Manufacturer: Luanvi
  • Golden Sponsor: Funky Buddha


Panionios have a big fans base in Greece. Its organized fans are called "Panthers Club 1983".[40] In 1983, at Nea Smyrni Square. There, in a night before a game of the team, the idea of Panthers began to get flesh and bones. A companionship that thought to do something different in Panionios' stadium decided to act. In that night, the name "Panthers" was first heard, which was to be the name of the companionship and then of the club. The Panthers officially started their activity as a club of organized fans, having been recognized by the administration of the association, which had then passed into the hands of the lasting Michalis Stamatelatos, who together with the also lasting Panagiotis Ammanitis, and they believed the different perception they used to see as fans.

After 2003, the Panthers against the then Achilleas Beos administration created many problems.[41] The club lived a long period of persecution (courts, etc.), all of which led to an organizational contraction, as well as a difficulty finding a home. After 2006, the Panthers club is going through another season, as the Tsakiris administration approves and gives Panthers a space within the boundaries of the stadium where the current club is placed.

The official friendships of Panthers Club 1983 are the fans of the Italian club Genoa[42] and the Holmesdale Fanatics from the English club Crystal Palace.[43][44] In Greece, Niki Volos has always been considered our brotherly association, as the refuge, the emblem of Niki Volos, as the first sign of Panionios in Smyrna, as well as the presence of Panagiotis Ammanitis, a beloved administrative agent in the two associations, contributed in this direction. Common joints and recent joint actions with the Basso Rango Ultras of Apollon Smyrnis make this relationship a very important bridge between Panionios fans and other Group Associations. Lastly, the respect among fans of PAOK and Panionios, since 1999, makes this relationship a long-lasting and robust bridge of communication. Lastly, contact with the Warriors - Gate 6 of Panetolikos is also a relationship with good communication and contact.

Panthers Club 1983 has a great social action that has grown significantly in recent years.[45] Also, their lighthouse is Dimitros Dallas, the man who kept their beloved team alive from Smyrna and gave Panionios life again in Athens.




Seasons in the 21st century[edit]

Season Category Position Cup Notes
2000–01 Alpha Ethniki 9th R16
2001–02 Alpha Ethniki 7th 2R
2002–03 Alpha Ethniki 5th QF Qualified for 2003–04 UEFA Cup
2003–04 Alpha Ethniki 6th QF Qualified for 2004–05 UEFA Cup
2004–05 Alpha Ethniki 11th QF
2005–06 Alpha Ethniki 11th R16
2006–07 Super League 5th 5R Qualified for 2007–08 UEFA Cup
2007–08 Super League 5th 5R Qualified for 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup
2008–09 Super League 8th QF
2009–10 Super League 9th QF
2010–11 Super League 10th 4R
2011–12 Super League 12th QF
2012–13 Super League 8th 3R
2013–14 Super League 13th QF
2014–15 Super League 12th QF
2015–16 Super League 5th QF
2016–17 Super League 5th GS Qualified for 2017–18 UEFA Europa League
2017–18 Super League 7th SF
2018–19 Super League 6th QF

Best position in bold.

Key: 3R = Third Round, 4R = Fourth Round, 5R = Fifth Round, GS = Group Stage, QF = Quarter-finals, SF = Semi-finals.

European matches[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away
1964–65 Rapan Cup Group C1 Sweden Malmö FF 1–1 1–5
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dinamo Zagreb 2–2*
France Toulouse 0–3*
1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1st Round East Germany Hansa Rostock 2–0 0–3
UEFA Competitions
1971–72 UEFA Cup 1st Round Spain Atlético Madrid 1–0[47] 1–2
2nd Round Hungary Ferencváros 0–2 0–6
1979–80 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1st Round Netherlands Twente 4–0 1–3
2nd Round Sweden IFK Göteborg 1–0 0–2
1987–88 UEFA Cup 1st Round France Toulouse 0–1 1–5
1998–99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1st Round Finland FC Haka 2–0 3–1
2nd Round Cyprus Apollon Limassol 3–2 1–0
Quarter-finals Italy Lazio 0–4 0–3
2003–04 UEFA Cup 1st Round Denmark FC Nordsjælland 2–1 1–0
2nd Round Spain Barcelona 0–3 0–2
2004–05 UEFA Cup 1st Round Italy Udinese 3–1 0–1
Group stage England Newcastle United 0–1 4th
Portugal Sporting CP 1–4
Georgia (country) Dinamo Tbilisi 5–2
France Sochaux 0–1
2007–08 UEFA Cup 1st Round France Sochaux 0–1 2–0
Group stage Sweden Helsingborgs IF 1–1 4th
Turkey Galatasaray 0–3
Austria Austria Wien 1–0
France Bordeaux 2–3
2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup 2nd round Serbia OFK Beograd 3–1 0–1
3rd round Italy Napoli 0–1 0–1
2017–18 UEFA Europa League 2nd qualifying round Slovenia ND Gorica 2–0 3–2
3rd qualifying round Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 0–1 0–1
  • In the summer of 1964 Panionios took part in the Cup Rapan in place of Olympiacos FC, who retired after two games, against Toulouse (2–4) and Dinamo Zagreb (0–4). The results were calculated in the standings without replay for Panionios. Panionios so had three games: two at home Kaftantzoglio Stadium, which had a lights away with Malmo. The away game against Toulouse, which refused to be played by Olympiacos, ended 3–0 for the French team.
  • Panionios' courses in European competitions were in their history with golden letters.[48]

European record[edit]

Season Achievement Notes
UEFA Cup Winners Cup
1979–80 Second Round eliminated by IFK Göteborg
1998–99 Quarter-finals eliminated by Lazio
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League
1971–72 Second Round eliminated by Ferencváros
1987–88 First Round eliminated by Toulouse
2003–04 Second Round eliminated by Barcelona
2004–05 Group Stage 4th position in Group D
2007–08 Group Stage 4th position in Group H
2017–18 Third Qualifying Round eliminated by Maccabi Tel Aviv
UEFA Intertoto Cup
2008 Third Round eliminated by Napoli


Current squad[edit]

As of 13 November 2019 [49][50]

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 Giorgos Saramantas
4 Greece DF Stefanos Evangelou
5 Brazil DF Domingues
7 Greece MF Panagiotis Korbos (captain)
8 Serbia MF Novica Maksimović
9 Greece FW Konstantinos Doumtsios
10 Georgia (country) FW Bachana Arabuli
11 France MF Oumar Camara
12 Slovenia GK Matic Kotnik
13 Greece DF Odysseas Lymperakis
14 Greece DF Dimitris Stavropoulos
15 Greece FW Orestis Sousonis
16 Greece MF Giannis Oikonomidis
17 France MF Sofiane Sidi Ali
18 Greece DF Vasilios Rentzas
19 Greece DF Giannis Kiakos
No. Position Player
20 Mexico FW Pedro Arce
21 Greece DF Nikos Baxevanos (on loan from Lazio)
22 Greece DF Thanasis Papageorgiou
23 Greece MF Sotiris Tsiloulis
27 Greece FW Giannis Papanikolaou
28 Greece MF Frixos Grivas
30 Greece GK Dimitrios Nikas
31 Greece DF Giannis Masouras (on loan from Olympiacos)
32 Albania DF Antonio Mico
33 Poland DF Sebastian Chrusciel
36 Greece FW Filippos Selkos
40 Greece MF Christos Retsos
44 Serbia MF Nemanja Milojević
67 France GK Jérémy Malherbe
77 Greece FW Dimitris Emmanouilidis (on loan from Panathinaikos)
Greece MF Fanis Tzandaris

Players with multiple nationalities[edit]

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
Azerbaijan MF Araz Abdullayev (at Qarabağ until 30 June 2020)[51]
Greece MF Manolis Kragiopoulos (at Apollon Smyrnis until 30 June 2020)
Greece MF Spyros Glynos (at Diagoras until 30 June 2020)



As of 24 August 2018 [52]
Position Staff
President Greece Christos Daras[53]
Vice–President Greece Pantelis Tsilalidis
Football Department Coordinator Greece Christos Daras
Board Member Greece Andreas Zamanis
Board Member Greece Nikos Migopoulos
Board Member Greece Giorgos Giomataris
Board Member Greece Giorgos Apostolopoulos
Board Member Greece Dimitris Garavelas
Board Member Greece Aristides Ntousias
Board Member Greece Petros Boukis
Board Member Greece Aikaterini Florou
Board Member Greece Eleni-Anna Garavela
Honourable Board Member Greece Nikos Paraskevopoulos
Honourable Board Member Greece Kiriakos Skouras
Honourable Board Member Greece Nektarios Katsigiannis

Technical staff[edit]

As of 29 September 2019 [54]
Position Name Nationality
Head Coach Nikki Papavasiliou Cyprus
Assistant Coach Giorgos Chorianopoulos Greece
Fitness Coach Vasilis Kalapotharakos Greece
Goalkeepers Coach Georgios Souloganis Greece
Team Manager Dimitris Nalitzis Greece
Head Scout Antonis Manikas Greece

Former managers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Panionios' history from" (in Greek). Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Panionios wons Balkans Cup" (in Greek).
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Panionios' History". Panionios' Official Website. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008.
  6. ^ "The best Panionios in professionally years!" (in Greek).
  7. ^ "The first Greek Cup of Panionios" (in Greek).
  8. ^ "The Cup of 1979" (in Greek).
  9. ^ "Nikos Anastopoulos" (in Greek).
  10. ^ "Thomas Mavros" (in Greek).
  11. ^ "Dimitris Saravakos" (in Greek).
  12. ^ "The Panionios Cup in 1998" (in Greek).
  13. ^ "Cup of 1998" (in Greek).
  14. ^ "Constantinos Tsakiris and Panionios" (in Greek).
  15. ^ "Girls of Panionios became "Historical"" (in Greek). Retrieved 19 April 2007.
  16. ^ "Tsakiris keeping his promise" (in Greek). Retrieved 25 May 2006.
  17. ^ "Name changed" (in Greek). Retrieved 25 July 2006.
  18. ^ "Panionios announced Ewald Lienen for two years" (in Greek). Retrieved 14 June 2006.
  19. ^ "Panionios' New Stadium". Archived from the original on 15 May 2009.
  20. ^ "Panionios signed Álvaro Recoba" (in Greek).
  21. ^ "Panionios announced Fabián Estoyanoff" (in Greek). Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  22. ^ "The direction of Lienen" (in Greek). Retrieved 11 November 2008.
  23. ^ "Panionios' Official Announcement". Panionios' Official Website. 11 November 2008. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009.
  24. ^ "Panionios' Official Announcement" (in Greek). Panionios' Official Website. 12 November 2008. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009.
  25. ^ "Takis Lemonis Leaves Panionios". 3 December 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  26. ^ "Panionios' Official Announcement" (in Greek). Panionios' Official Website. 3 December 2008. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  27. ^ "Emilio Ferrera announced officially" (in Greek). Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  28. ^ "Panionios' new training facility" (in Greek).
  29. ^ "Apilion was introduced" (in Greek).
  30. ^ "Training center-ornament" (in Greek).
  31. ^ "Stadium Overview".
  32. ^ "Panionios official announcement". Archived from the original on 30 September 2011.
  33. ^ "Ministry official announcement".
  34. ^ "A ride on the Panionios' home ground" (in Greek). Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  35. ^ "A summary of the 2003/2004 Greek Football Cup Final in Nea Smyrni Stadium". Archived from the original on 10 July 2012.
  36. ^ "Metallica in Nea Smyrni" (in Greek).
  37. ^ "Metallica's first time in Greece" (in Greek).
  38. ^ "Tribute in the first concert of Metallica in Greece".
  39. ^ "Nike, the GODDESS of speed" (in Greek). Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  40. ^ "Panthers Club 1983 history" (in Greek).
  41. ^ "Panthers Club 1983 against Beos" (in Greek).
  42. ^ "Panionios fans raised banners for Genoa" (in Greek).
  43. ^ "The fans of Crystal Palace for Panionios" (in Greek).
  44. ^ "Fans of Crystal Palace asks for respect to Panionios" (in Greek). Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  45. ^ "Panthers about their social actions" (in Greek).
  46. ^ "Statistics". Panionios' Official Website. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008.
  47. ^ "Panionios-Atlético Madrid 1-0: The day of the "panther"" (in Greek).
  48. ^ "Panionios' big courses in European competitions" (in Greek).
  49. ^ "Panionios' roster".
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^

External links[edit]

Official websites[edit]

News sites[edit]