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Post by Scottish » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:39 pm

The Greek Superleague has eighteen teams playing each other twice with the bottom two going down and third last going into a play-off. That’s thirty-four league games each for a total of 306. At the top end teams from 2nd-5th, although already qualified for Europe, play a mini-league in order to determine which side takes the second Champions League place which Greece is currently entitled to and also to decide the entry point for the Europa League. A complicated weighting system is put in place before commencement so that, for example, a team finishing in fifth but twenty points behind the runners-up doesn’t start the play-offs on an equal footing.

The days of huge attendances are long gone, particularly as stadium redevelopment has reduced capacity at most grounds (the Olympic stadium excepted). Last season’s best crowd of 32,161 for an Olympiakos home match was actually forty-five more than the ground capacity. Other clubs struggled to pull in decent crowds with the lowest of all - a mere sixty-six – recorded at a home game for AEL Kalloni. Although several clubs play on Greek islands, this one is the most geographically isolated of all, situated as they are, just off the Turkish coast on the island of Lesbos (no sniggering at the back or suggestions that sixty-nine would have been more appropriate than sixty-six).

Another factor in attendances not being what they once were is the absence of AEK Athens following their relegation in 2013 and adoption of amateur status which forced them to drop a further level. Even in their final season in the top flight AEK averaged close to 10,000 and were the third best-supported club. With Aris Salonika going down the same road as AEK this season attendances will dwindle further. That’s two of the five biggest clubs in Greece missing from the Superleague.

It’s almost as if teams like Rangers, Hearts and Hibs were missing from the Scottish Premiership. Still, at least Olympiakos’ average was good enough to get them into the world’s top 200, even if it was at 199. The league average of 4,038 gives Greece 21st place in Europe and 46th worldwide.

17912 Olympiakos
12751 PAOK Salonika
9307 Panathinaikos
7247 Aris Salonika
4272 OFI Crete
2808 Panetolikos
2199 PAS Giannina
1886 Asteras Tripolis
1850 Panrathrikikos Komotini
1832 Platanias
1725 Atromitos
1564 Ergotelis
1560 Apollon Smyrnis
1550 PAE Veria
1488 Skoda Xanthi
1167 Panionios
1140 Levadiakos
1027 AEL Kalloni

The Greeks are one of those few European countries to organise their second level into two divisions. After the fourteen clubs in both groups play each other twice, the top four from both groups combine to decide the promotion and promotion play-off places. Three clubs from both groups at the end of the regular season are relegated to the (also regionalised) third level.

I have no figures for outside the top flight.

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