Friday, March 1, 2024

Evangelos Marinakis: Premier League Owner, Drug Trafficker, Smuggler or Match Fixer

Evangelos Marinakis, owner of Premier League club Nottingham Forest under fire for allegations of drug trafficking, smuggling and match-fixing.

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Evangelos Marinakis, the Greek shipping tycoon has been on the radar of Premier League observers for some time, much like former Chelsea owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovic.

With the specter of financial fair play and oversight hanging over clubs such as Manchester City and Newcastle, the league finds itself in a new era where the history and financial practices of club owners have come under significant scrutiny.

Nottingham Forest is no European giant in the football world by any means, but garners significant support from it regional fans who have been deeply invested in the club’s progress for generations.

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This is precisely why questions surrounding allegations against the club’s owner, Evangelos Marinakis have the potential to damage the club, both in reputation and in a footballing sense.

The Greek tycoon has been the owner of his hometown team, Olympiakos since the mid-2010s, winning the Greek League title for seven years straight between the 2010-2011 and 2016-17 seasons.

In 2017, Marinakis added then Championship, later Premier League club Nottingham Forest to his portfolio, bringing him into the elite bracket of English top club owners.

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Under his leadership as the majority stakeholder, the club managed to secure promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years.

Behind the heartening story of Nottingham Forest arise questions about the dealings of Marinakis and the illegal activities that have helped him build and retain his fortune.

Off late, Evagelos Marinakis has been in the limelight for allegedly attempting to obstruct legal cases against him in both the United States and Greece, while also battling with his image as a voracious gambler.

He has also been known to be at odds with ship owners in Greece whom he maligns via media houses that he himself owns.

This has led to a series of allegations and slander coming the way of those who oppose Marinakis in the Greek shipping industry.

He has also been known to falsely accuse other owners of wrongdoings while “anonymously” reporting them to Auditing or Judicial Authorities.

Due to his history and the allegations that have surfaced about him, his latest bid to own Portuguese club Rio Ave has been brought into question after his attempts to pursue AC Monza in the Italian League came to a grinding halt.

Reports suggest that Marinakis wishes to package three clubs around Europe in a singular deal to be sold to the highest bidder.

This would be a complex transaction as it is, considering the different leagues involved. The process is not helped by the fact that Marinakis finds his reputation in tatters in the footballing world.

It is also speculated that the sale will be made to American or Qatar based conglomerates which raises questions about their dealings as well.

Marinakis has also been accused of defaulting on payments to agents and players as Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest, a cardinal sin for owners in the footballing world.

In response to this, Nottingham Forest fans have protested against their owner, asking for his removal.

In their opinion, the club, which has a rich history in English football and on the European stage, does not deserve an owner who is accused of drug trafficking, smuggling and match fixing, amongst other offenses.

This also raises questions regarding the new due diligence procedures applied by the Premier League.

Why is it that Marinakis as an owner, has been immune to investigations while clubs such as Manchester City and Chelsea have been dealing with allegation far less severe.

Everton fans in particular should take offense to this as their team was recently docked ten points for what is being called a minor accounting error.

Hence, it is no surprise that many clubs and football fans are watching how Marinakis is going to be dealt with.

As an impartial league, one would expect that Nottingham Forest’s owner would have to answer for his crimes much like any other club in the recent past.

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