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Papastavrou resigns from Omonia with ‘a heavy heart’

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Stavros Papastavrou celebrates with the players after Omonia beat AEL to win the Cyprus Cup on May 24 (Image courtesy of Omonia's Facebook page)

Omonia president Stavros Papastavrou on Thursday night announced his resignation from the Nicosia giants in a surprise move that is set to bring about significant changes within the club.

In a statement to Omonia’s official channel, the American-Cypriot businessman urged the club to find suitable individuals who “will carry on the club’s legacy.”
“Firstly, I would like to apologise to the Omonia community for the turmoil of the past 18 months,” the outgoing president said.
“I want to inform you that I am resigning from the club with a heavy heart, because I believe in what it stands for. In these years we grew as a team and we expanded our reach in Cyprus and in Europe.”

Papastavrou said the reason behind his decision to resign was linked to bitter disagreements with the board of directors that took place, in particular over the past year and a half.
The former president said he requested a modification of his agreement from the club’s board of directors, which was not granted.
His contract also stipulates that he will remain a shareholder for the next five years.

“The reason behind this difficult decision is that after 18 months of continuous meetings and discussions, we failed to reach an agreement,” he said.
“It is not in my nature to change agreements, but the reason it happened is because the club offered someone else a different agreement with better terms than the one they offered me (when I took over the club’s presidency).

“When I heard about it, I felt that after accomplishing so much at Omonia and spending so much money in reducing the club’s debt, the least they could do is provide me with similar or better conditions than someone who did nothing so far,” Papastavrou explained.
“Trust was lost somewhere. At least I have a clear conscience. I know what I did for the club, it is in front of everyone’s eyes. And, had we managed to agree on the new terms, I would still be Omonia’s president.”

Papastavrou, however, said he was thankful for the five years he spent at the helm, adding that, under his presidency, Omonia was “the most successful team in Cyprus.”
“I want to thank the fans in particular, both in Cyprus and abroad, for giving me the chance to lead this great club.”

He also acknowledged that the club is in debt for a sum amounting to around €15 million. That said, he assured he does not intend to sell his shares in the club.
“Let’s face it, anyone willing to take over would have to come up with €4-5 million. The only person able to do that is me. I was ready to continue investing in Omonia, but the agreement needed to change in order to create long-term value at the club,” Papastavrou added.

Before the end of his announcement, he said he tried to find suitable candidates to replace him, albeit without success.

Rumours circulating on social media indicated a possible replacement in Cypriot businessman John Christodoulou, who, however, denied his involvement in the matter with a post on Twitter.
“I want to inform all the people of Omonia that I neither agreed anything with the board of directors nor did they make me any offers. I wish Omonia all the best for the future,” Christodoulou’s post said.

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