AEK Athens players agree to skip hotel stay to raise money for teammates

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

We've already heard about a financially strapped Greek amateur club that took on brothels as shirt sponsors and a financially strapped Greek Super League club that traveled 17 hours by bus for a match, but that's far from the end of the effect Greece's financial collapse is having on the country's footballers. Deep in debt and struggling to pay players consistently, AEK Athens have decided to skip their usual pre-match hotel stay before Sunday's derby against Panathinaikos in order to raise money for the members of the squad who are having a hard time making ends meet.

From the AFP:

AEK coach Ewald Lienen said: "I talked with the players about the issue today in training and we will continue our regular preparations for the match.

"After the training session on Saturday we will have lunch together and Sunday morning we will have breakfast together as we do before each match at the hotel.

"The only difference is that on Saturday night we will not be staying at the hotel. This is only in order to save money."

AEK are currently in last place and just got their first win of the season last weekend. Though the hotel stay before the Panathinaikos match isn't entirely necessary since they're not leaving their home city, the gesture is really more of a symbolic one to show that they're not going to let financial troubles break them.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos will be upset when the lobster tail he orders from room service doesn't come garnished with a lemon wedge.

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