Greece II Division

Greece. Ranked 18th. Greek football was surely going up and this was one of the most memorable – and also curious – seasons. Oh, not because some great football was played. It was the first season Panathinaikos and Olympiakos finished bellow top 4 – never before both mighty clubs were so low. Take it as you wish – as a general improvement of football, canceling the dominance of the most powerful and popular, or as weakening of same clubs, thus leveling the league somewhat, but only by lowering class. Yet, this was minor point – not only the champion was a big surprise, but it was one more example of backroom decisions. Just recently the Yugoslavian championship was decided in court – the Greeks topped that: the championship was decided by a city revolt, blocking traffic by erecting barricades on highways, even building temporary ‘border crossing’. The government, via the Minister of sports, had to step in and provide solution. The remedy in a way was more dangerous than the original problem – since the trouble started with doping case, the new rule hastily established made clubs not responsible for doping cases from now on. Given various scheming, bribing, backroom deals and heavy use of influence and clout in Greek football, such ruling could only increase off-field meddling and tampering with impunity. In case such a statement is objected, let’s point out that this season 2 clubs were found guilty of infringements and punished with deduction of points. The third club had its punishment revoked after the revolt. There were hardly any innocents and that for many years and it is really difficult to either blame or excuse anybody – Greek football had deeply embedded corruption. But the game went on.
Second Division. 18 teams, the top 3 promoted, the last 4 relegated. PAS Giannina had 5 points deducted for their wrongdoings. However, they still had enough points for 12th place. On the top head-to-head records decided those taking 2-4 places – promotions were at stake and one team was unfortunate. By the numbers: A.S. Chalkida (18th), A.O. Trikala (17th), Acharnaikos Menidi (Athens,16th), and Edessaikos A.O. (Edessa, 15th) were relegated.

G.S. Kallithea (Athens) survived by a point – 14th.
P.A.S. Giannina ended 12th. Point deduction placed near relegation, but they survived. After the deduction they were left with 32 points – one more than Edessaikos and Acharnaikos Menidi.
Overall, little excitement up the table.
May be a photo of this season of Pierikos (Katerini) – they were 8th with 34 points.
Athinaikos Vironas (Athens) finished 7th with 35 points. Somewhat difficult to judge – Athinaikos was slowly improving and recently was one of the better teams in the Second Division. Yet, they finished with only 4 points more than relegated Edessaikos and Acharnaikos Menidi.
Charavgiakos (Athens) was perhaps the pleasant surprise this season – they finished 5th with 38 points. Missing promotion up by very little. One of the many clubs in the Greek capital, but practically unheard of – they hardly played any Second Division previously and suddenly performed very well. Only the future could tell would they go up or down.
A.O. Kastoria lost its attempt to get promoted on head-to-head records. They took 4th place with 39 points.
Apollonas Smyrni – better known abroad as Apollon (Athens) – clinched 3rd place with 39 points, but better head-to-head record than Kastoria. Promotion was a huge relief: this was club accustomed to play top league football and not just making the numbers there.
Olympiakos (Volos) took 2nd place – they had the best head-to-head record among the teams with 39 points. Happily promoted up.
A possible picture of the Second Division champions – at least it is from that period, if not from this season. Like Apollon (Athens), A.S. Doxa (Drama) was used to play First Division football. No wonder they were eager to return to it and achieved it quite comfortably: 20 wins, 4 ties, 10 losses, 68-36, and 44 points. Five point ahead of the nearest pursuers.