Greek football team rescued by sponsorship from local brothels
Filed under: News
Players for the amateur team Voukefalas Larissa are now wearing pink jerseys, adorned with the logos of two local brothels.
Greek sports organisations have been hit hard by massive government spending cuts and like the country as a whole, some are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Greece faces its sixth year of recession and is caught in a vicious cycle: international creditors are demanding more austerity and reforms in return for billions of euros in aid, but the drastic cuts have plunged the economy deeper into recession.
Leaders of the three coalition government parties are currently putting the finishing touches to a €13.5 billion austerity package. Once again Greece is racing against time to satisfy lenders' conditions before running out of money altogether.
Luckily for the Larissa football team, "Villa Erotica" and "Soula's House of History" have stepped in with more than €1,000 without imposing any stringent conditions - and the owner of Soula's House has promised thousands more. She insists she's not doing it for the publicity but because of her love of the game. Bordellos have fared better than many other businesses during the financial meltdown in Greece.
Not surprisingly, the sponsorship deal has ruffled a few feathers. League organisers have banned the team from wearing the pink jerseys during games, arguing that the deal violates "the sporting ideal" and is not appropriate for underage supporters. The team has launched an appeal against the ban, and the players are wearing the jerseys during training.
"When we announced to the players that our sponsor would be a brothel, they wanted to know about bonuses," Giannis Batziolas, the club's president and reserve goalkeeper, told local radio station NovaSport FM.
"The proposal was made strictly for economic reasons. As soon as the offer was made, we couldn't turn it down."
Other lower league clubs in Greece have turned to kebab shops, makers of feta cheese and a jam factory for sponsorship. Paleopygro, which had no shirt sponsors for three years, even signed a deal with their local undertaker. Their jerseys, emblazoned with a black cross, are selling like hot cakes.