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Germany play Greece in euro crisis showdown

The Local · 18 Jun 2012, 09:22

Published: 18 Jun 2012 09:22 GMT+02:00

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has provoked anger in Greece for leading

the calls on Athens to impose tough austerity measures in return for financial

assistance to bring down debt.

The irony of a potential last-eight meeting with Germany after Greece's surprise win over Russia in Warsaw on Saturday was not been lost on the Greeks, with many sensing an opportunity for revenge.

"Bring us Merkel," said Greek newspaper Goal News on Sunday. "You will never get Greece out of the Euro. Europe once again delirious about bankrupted Greece."

Greece players, too, are aware that a good run in the competition in Poland and Ukraine will help alleviate some of their compatriots' current woes.

In economic terms, Germany and Greece are poles apart. One is Europe's leading economy with considerable global clout while the other is in its fifth year of recession and crippled by political and financial uncertainty.

In football, there are some parallels.

The celebrated Nationalmannschaft have the European Championships' best record, having lifted the trophy and been runners-up three times each.

Greece, however, have only qualified for the finals four times, although they have won it once - in 2004 - eclipsing the record of countries like England, who have never won the competition.

Germany have won the World Cup no fewer than three times and been runners-up on four occasions, with four third-place finishes. Their 12 top-four finishes outshines even that of five-times winners Brazil.

Greece for its part only qualified for their first finals in 1994 and made their second appearance two years ago but on both occasions crashed out at the group stage.

German league clubs have won the old European Cup and now Champions League six times and been runners-up on nine occasions.

Germany's Bundesliga, meanwhile, is on an increasingly sound financial footing.

Revenue grew by five percent in the 2010-11 season to €1.7 billion ($2.1 billion) - second only to the English Premier League, which saw 12 percent growth to 2.5 billion in the same period, Deloitte Sports Business said.

The German league even outstripped the Premier League in terms of operating profits (€171 million versus €75 million in 2010-11), the auditors said in their "Annual Review of Football Finance 2012", published in May.

In addition, average attendances of 42,100 at German grounds in the season before last were the best in Europe, the report said.

Greek domestic football - effectively an annual three-way battle between Olympiakos, Panathinaikos and AEK Athens - has in contrast been hit in recent years by high-profile match-fixing claims, dwindling crowds as well as fan violence.

Sports business experts have pinpointed a number of reasons for Greek clubs' failure to reach the revenue heights of their European counterparts - and they sound familiar.

Story continues below…

Panagiotis Dimitropoulos, from the department of sport management at the University of Peloponnese, analysed Greek football club finances from 1993 to 2006.

He wrote in the Sport Management International Journal in 2010 that clubs, many locally-owned, were "highly leveraged, have intense liquidity and profitability problems and face increase danger of financial distress."

The academic blamed "aggregate financial mismanagement and political inefficiencies" and noted clubs were blighted by "many cases of financial mismanagement" leading to "financial instability and... insolvency."

Dimitropolous suggested a number of solutions to put Greek football on a better financial and competitive footing, including assistance for smaller and less profitable teams as well as salary caps, squad limits and revenue sharing.

Or you could say: bail-outs and austerity measures to stimulate growth.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:51 June 18, 2012 by mashlakhito
sigh..sigh...as always politics has to been involved into everything. Football is football, and politics is politics. The Eurozone crisis is the Eurozone crisis and the Eurocup is the Eurocup.

I, for one, hope that Germany loses. Not because it's Greece they are playing, but because of the mix between politics and football. Had nothing been mentioned about how this showdown between Greece and Germany at the EM resembles that lock of horns between the two countries politically, I would've gone for Germany to win. But because of this, I will cheer not for a Greece win, but rather a Germany loss!
14:19 June 18, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Oh man, where do we start with this one?:

And Socrates with an amazing cross to Play Dough who is tackled hard by Nietszche... you`ve all seen the film.


Special guest Schiri Christine LaGarde with 11 red cards in a golden holder marked `Pour la Grece`.


Germany gives the Greeks a 5 goal lead but then during halftime is secretly awarded 10 goals, including the Greek`s 5, to win the match as the Deutsche Bank flag flies on both sides.
16:37 June 18, 2012 by franconia
Y' all must be Brits . I am so sorry ! Play ball !
17:35 June 18, 2012 by Hicham1st
As a German muslim, I pray to Allah/God to help the Germans against Greece, I believe in you 'jungs' you will make it, you are the best out there!
18:31 June 18, 2012 by AlexR
@Leo Strauss

LOL. I remember your first example, I guess that Youtube has a video of that scene.

But since everyone in Europe seems to have an opinion about how other countries need to run their economies or how to vote, why not extend this on football as well. We don't need games or goals, every Euro country will vote for Germany or Greece, Eurovision-style.

Germany twelve points - L'Allemagne douze points

Twelve points to Greece - Douze points pour la Grèce
19:46 June 18, 2012 by Leo Strauss

Yeah, right on. Monty Python is always good for a laugh.

Anyway, I did enjoy your posts on the weekend regarding Greece, Germany and the Euro crisis. Your comments were well-considered and it is clear to me that you are passionate and sincere in your concern for Europeans and Humanity as a whole. Thought that your exchange with siba was interesting- you both didn`t always agree and sometimes talked over each other but you did hash out some thoughts and delivered a genuine dialogue.

I also agree with you regarding the inflammatory German newspaper articles as reverse psychology. I believe that the core elite would like to see Europe turned on its head this summer in order to provide cover for the NATO invasion of Syria. A Leftist rejection of the Troika deal would have turned the heat up on the crisis to a boiling point, whereas now it will continue to simmer on until the next phase. So your instincts were correct, I think.

People haven`t learned to see the big picture. Soros et al aren`t the ring leaders. As things wind down these minions are allowed to continue to make money off of the bailouts but the ring leaders aren`t interested in money- they want to abolish national sovereignty in Europe through debt slavery in order to bring in a technocratic dictatorship based on Neo Feudalism.

C`est tout.

PS Liked your comments about living in a country for 3 years too... je pense que c`est vrai. :)

La Grece 12

L`Allemagne 12
21:14 June 18, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
AlexR -

Just curious if you also know that the Freedom Fighters in Libya were actually Al Qaeda being armed by Germany, NATO, and the USA?

Ask Leo Strauss...
21:23 June 18, 2012 by Leo Strauss

Hey Mr. Scoot and Shoot, why don`t you return to the Saudi-Panzer post finish the discussion that you started? :)
21:30 June 18, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@Leo - I did go back but could not find it. They deleted it, no?
21:36 June 18, 2012 by Leo Strauss

No G, it is still there. If you can`t find the link to that than how in God`s name are you going to educate yourself on the CIA/Al-Qaeda fake paradigm?

Just go up to the top of the page and look to the right for `most popular articles`.

Kidz these daze.
21:44 June 18, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@ Leo - I kind of like "scoot and shoot." Reminds me of a former life.
22:03 June 18, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@ Schwabi

Roger that. It was a lot simpler in those days but then we had to go and grow up. I sometimes have to give my head a shake- driving a Ford eastbound through the Fulda Gap. The world is stranger than fiction, my friend.
22:17 June 18, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@ Leo... I always kinda thought Fulda would be a feint at best by the communist hordes. Maybe to split V and VII US corps?

Now will you throw me a bone about Al Qeada Freedom Fighters. Maybe my google technique is not up to speed either.
22:40 June 18, 2012 by Leo Strauss

OK, I`m gonna flip you one because I like you.:) This is just a taste and it goes back a year ago. An Ex-CIA whistleblower. And then you`re gonna have to do the leg work.


Schwabi, you seem like a clever cookie, so just keep an open mind.

And yes, Fulda was probably a feint with the main thrusts driving to Hamburg in the north and through Göttingen farther to the south...maybe.

Schlaf schön
14:04 June 20, 2012 by Kölner
May the best team win! It is a well-known fact that soccer is abused as a kind of substitute-

war, but does anybody really feel the urge to point out the financial background? If some people are offended by excessive wealth, please remember not to watch movies starring

Hollywood-stars any more and stop listening to mainstream-bands. Germany is Europeś

leading economic power and as a result it can afford more expensive soccer-players....

good thing you told me, I couldn't possibly have guessed! Iĺl let you in on a big, dark secret:

My neighbour is an Architect and he can buy more expensive cars than me. True story.
18:14 June 22, 2012 by AlexR
@ SchwabHallRocks

I usually don't express opinions on issues (or previous discussions) that I'm not familiar with. I don't know much about Libya except the usual stuff I've read on the press. However, if the recent history of Afghanistan is any indication, I'm afraid that I cannot exclude anything before researching the issue.

@Leo Strauss

Thank you for your comments and my apologies for the delayed reply but I was away on a business trip. I agree that it's better to have any kind of dialogue, even a heated discussion, than no dialogue at all. This is what democracy is all about, isn't it?

Regarding the populist press with their stereotypes, generalizations and lies, I fight it wherever I see it, because their influence to the people and the governments is sometimes quite big and dangerous to ignore. And I'm not overreacting when I say that, just read some of the ignorant comments here (of course siba doesn't belong to those people).

Regarding my 3 years that I lived in Greece, yes, my point is that even if I worked and lived there for 3 years I cannot say that I know everything about Greece. That's why I find it rather hilarious and/or frustrating when other people express strong opinions and criticism for a country they don't know anything about or they haven't even researched about it. They just rely on the stereotypes they read on the populist press or just their 1-week holidays experiences in some idyllic Greek island. To give an analogy, it's like someone claims that he knows everything about USA, just because he went to Disneyland.
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