APOEL Foodball (Public) LTD – History
By the end of the 80s, Cyprus football operated in a relatively unprofessional base, with football players accepting low salaries and football clubs with budgets under CYP100,000.
In the early 90s, great changes in the worldwide football map (after Bosman case) forced Cyprus and Cyprus football teams to change and turn to a professional base. Football players would no longer play football only because they wanted to support a team, a good salary was now a prerequisite for them to sing a contract. This meant that huge amounts of money had to be secured by a football team in order to survive and have the chance to win cups and championship titles.
At that time, many football teams found themselves in a very difficult position, with many creditors knocking on their doors and not enough money to cover their obligations. APOEL was one of them. Its debts had reached 7 digit numbers and they couldn’t find sponsors to provide APOEL with equivalent sums of money. What should be done? Should the managers have declared APOEL bankrupt? This was the easy solution but it was also the most painful for all those who loved APOEL and believed in it.
Then in 1997, the idea of Mike Ioannides gave a solution to the problem. A public company would be created, operating financial and managerial departments independently of APOEL club. (This in fact was an earlier idea expressed at the late 70’ by Iakovos Filippou, yet rejected at that time)
What was the purpose of creating that company? Mike Ioannides explains: “As a president of the club, but mostly as a fan of APOEL, I have come to the conclusion that this is the only solution for us to get out of this economic crisis we are in. Our goals are a) in the short run, it will give the club the chance to start from scratch as far as debts are concerned and so APOEL FC will have the chance to survive and stand on its feet again and b) in the long run, it will give APOEL football team many opportunities and prospects because it will be the main interest of APOEL FC Board of Directors. My research has shown that financially APOEL will benefit from this initiative by the existence of share capital of the company that will give the momentum that the team needs.”
Therefore, in May 1997 after the decision of APOEL committee, APOEL FC LTD was established with issued share capital of CYP600,000 and a five-year contract was signed between the company and the Sports club. One of the obligations of the company was to pay CYP100,000 every year as a lease for the use of the rights of the football club by the company.
The first president of APOEL FC LTD was Mike Ioannides, since no one else was interested to assume this responsibility, and Christos Triantafyllides was vice-president from 1998 until 2000. In 2000, Charis Papanastasiou was appointed temporary president until June of 2001, it 2001 APOEL FC LTD had a new Board of Directors with Prodromos Petrides as president. Mr Petrides remained at the leadership of APOEL FC Board until 2006, then he resigned and was replaced by Kyriakos Zivanaris. Mr Zivanaris is the current president of APOEL FC Ltd.
All these years, the Board of Directors and the president of APOEL FC have been displaying great efforts to keep APOEL football team as one of the main contesters of cups and championship titles in Cyprus, but APOEL funs and friends have to help them, too, achieve their goals about our team.