London A.E.K. FC: AEK News: The History of A.E.K. and Original 21 (click here)

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ATHLETIC UNION of CONSTANTINOPLE
The History of A.E.K. and Original 21 (click here)

In The Beginning

AEK was established in 1924 by refugees from Constantinople who came into Greece after the elimination of their nation in the West coast of Turkey in 1922. That coast had been dominated by the Greek element for thousands of years. The Greeks of Constantinople, Smyrni and every other spot of the coast who had achieved great things for centuries were forced to move towards mother Greece. The Greek refugees settled throughout the country and helped with its development in every sector.

When the Constantinople refugees left the city in 1924, two years after Mikra Asia disaster, and decided to create a club with the name Athletic Union of Constantinople their aim was to generally change Greek sports and especially football status forever. Today, after 80 years they can look down from heaven and feel proud about completing their goal.

The Athletic Union of Constantinople (AEK), as the Ecumenical Patriarch said, is more than a club of the refugees. AEK Athens is a hole idea. AEK Athens represents human values and means culture. Besides that AEK Athens is one of the biggest and most important athletic unions in Greece, with a lot of domestic and international victories in several sports.

More than its victories on the field, AEK F.C. takes pride in its origins and what its emblem stands for. That is the two-headed eagle and its colours are yellow and black all of which are inspired by the Byzantine Empire which was lying from East to West, where the two heads of the eagle were staring.

 


Athletic Union of Constantinople…A club, an initiative of a group of refuges from Constantinople, only two years after the Destruction of 1922. The need for the creation of a cultural spine, a body that would soothe the sorrows, unite their dreams and give them back their lost pride, seemed immeasurably greater than the need for daily survival.


In 1924, two years after the Asia Minor disaster, a group of Constantinopolitans decided to establish a club called Athletic Union of Constantinople. AEK FC became at that point a reality ...

 

While years went by, the club began to grow, perhaps beyond the expectations of its founders. The great squads promoted by the yellow-black Union and the continuous success in both Greece and Europe, combined with the important value of the Idea represented, gradually brought large crowds to the Club. A club that originally referred only to Constantinopolitans became over the years one of the major sports organizations for all refugees in Greece. At the same time, its dynamic was so impressive for the wider Greek society that it did not take long for AEK to become one of the top teams in the country.


AEK FC has been over time an important contender for titles and success. In football AEK has won 27 national titles (11 Championships, 13 Cups, 2 Super Cups, 1 League Cup), while consistently representing Greece in European competitions. It is worth mentioning that AEK was the first Greek team to make it to the phase of ‘8’ in a European competition and the only one to be found in the quarterfinals of all the Champions Cup, the UEFA Cup and the erstwhile Cup Winners Cup. A peak moment for the club is making it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in the season 1976-77.
Η Αγι? Σοφι?

AEK is not just another football club. It's an idea. It stands for values and promotes culture both on and out of the field. AEK represents the refugees, the lost land, the pride of the Greeks of Asia Minor. AEK takes pride from its roots, it honours them and carries them everywhere through the double-headed eagle, inspired by the Byzantine Empire emblem.


In all those years of history, AEK has drawn its own special course. The values of the club, perhaps even the size of the original idea, the national destruction of 1922, have been so catalytic that gave the club the opportunity to rise above enemies and pointless rivalries.


The overall objective of AEK FC has been to attract those who believe in a higher value of sport and life and in the value of winning against one's own self, with the sole objective of continuous progress and development.

AEK has been, is and will be promoting these values. The course followed for almost a century is and can be an example for all of us. And as it seems, this course will be followed by more and more people, all driven by the two-headed eagle, gazing with pride to both East and West, and the yellow and black colors, all inspired by the Byzantine Empire.



 


AEK F.C. had another distinctive moment which was probably more important than Cups or championships. Their trip to Belgrade (which was being bombarded by NATO at the time) and the friendly match against Partizan (1-1) was a brave token of compassion towards the Serbians. It was the ex-president Dimitris Melissanidis iniative which almost the whole team and lots of fans responded to AEK F.C., a club born through the ashes and the pain of a destruction couldn’t have not been the pioneer in such actions. Next year (2000), AEK F.C. won the Greek Cup with Ioannis Pathiakakis as head coach. They overcame Ionikos in the final (3-0) with goals from Nikolaidis, Petkov and Maladenis.

The Current President

36 year old Lawyer Stavros Adamidis is the 45th President of AEK Athens FC.  Stavros D. Adamidis serves as Partner and Managing Partner of London Office at Nixon Peabody LLP. Mr. Adamidis practice areas includes Global Finance, Financial Services, Leveraged Finance and Sports & Entertainment. Mr. Adamidis focuses his practice on the representation of domestic and foreign institutional lenders, private equity funds and corporate borrowers in domestic and international secured and unsecured commercial loan transactions, vessel financings and international ... project financings (including, in connection with the development and operation of sports stadiums and arenas for professional sports teams). In addition, Mr. Adamidis has experience in securitization and structured finance, having represented originators, sponsors, and liquidity providers in connection with CLOs and CDOs. Mr. Adamidis also represents corporate trustees in all aspects of their trust, fiduciary and agency business, as indenture trustee, registrar, paying agent, transfer agent, escrow agent, conversion agent, administrative agent, collateral agent, intercreditor representative and custodian of accounts and other securities in traditional corporate capital markets and in finance transactions. Mr. Adamidis is admitted to practice in New York. He is a member of the New York State and New York County bar associations. Mr. Adamidis holds J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law and B.A. from University of California at Berkeley.

 

The Former President

Demis Nikolaidis, AEK Athens’ president and managing director, was born in Germany on September 17, 1973. At the age of four, he came to Greece and settled in Alexandroupolis. He started his footballing career in 1983 in his town’s club, Ethnikos Alexandroupolis. In December 1993, he was transferred to GS Apollon Athinon, where he scored 38 goals in 80 matches and led the team to its first ever appearance in the UEFA Cup in 1994 and the Greek Cup Final in 1995 (teamates that year with AEK London's own, Goalkeeper and current Coach John Dreliozis). In the summer of 1996, he moves to AEK Athens. As the years went by, he established himself as one of Greece’s top strikers and became a regular in the Greek national team (54 caps – 17 goals). During his seven-year stay at AEK Athens, he won three Greek Cup titles (1997, 2000, 2002) and one Super Cup (1996) and scored 177 goals in 266 matches (all competitions included). In the summer of 2003, Demis Nikolaidis decided to leave AEK Athens and Greece. He moved to Spain and signed for Atletico Club de Madrid, scoring 6 goals in the Primera Division. In January 2004, heading a businessmen’ consortium, he made a move for the purchase of the majority of AEK Athens FC’ shares. On August 4, he took over the club’s administration as president and managing director. A few days earlier, he had hung his footballing boots in the best way possible, as a European Champion, after Greece won the EURO 2004 trophy in Portugal, at the stadium of lights, "Da Luz"!. He is married to Despina Vandi and father to a daughter.


                                    Courtesy of AEK ATHENS.GR - The Official Website