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Turkish coach Terim parts ways with Panathinaikos after run of poor results

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Turkish football coach Fatih Terim has announced his departure from Greek club Panathinaikos due to successive defeats in the five months since he joined the team.

The 70-year-old Terim said in an Instagram post on Friday that he met with club president Giannis Alafouzos on Thursday evening. They agreed that their plans for the 2024-2025 season do not align with each other and that they decided to separate, he said.

He said his goal was to lead Panathinaikos to the championship title they have been seeking for 13 years, which could not materialize due to the team’s poor performance under Terim.

Terim thanked the team’s fans and its management for their support during the time he spent in Athens while wishing the Greek team success in the future.

Terim’s departure from Panathinaikos, where he had 14 wins, six draws and six losses in the league, came one game before the end of the season.

Panathinaikos, which remained in contention for the title, has slipped to fourth place after three successive defeats. It lost to 4-1 to PAOK in Thessaloniki on Wednesday, which led to great disappointment among the team’s fans.

Terim was immediately replaced by Christos Kontis ahead of Sunday’s derby with Olympiakos.

Terim, who boasts a rich coaching history including successful stints with the Turkish national team and Galatasaray, joined the Greek team in December at a time when he found himself at the center of a financial scandal in Turkey. The scandal, referred to as the “Fatih Terim Fund,” involves allegations of a fraudulent investment scheme orchestrated by Seçil Erzan, a former branch manager at Denizbank.

Erzan managed Terim’s financial dealings and allegedly lured investors, including former football stars like Arda Turan and Selçuk İnan, with promises of astronomically high returns, as much as 40 percent a month, using Terim’s credentials to secure their trust. However, the victims were provided with little more than handwritten notes or simple papers as proof of their investments, a stark departure from standard banking practices.

Despite the scandal being named after him and the involvement of his family members and close associates, Terim was not part of the trial that began on November 20. Furthermore, neither Terim nor Denizbank CEO Hakan Ateş was mentioned in the indictment, despite their names being used to facilitate the alleged fraud.

Terim’s coaching career has been marked by successes, including 16 titles, including a UEFA Cup, numerous Süper Lig championships and Turkish Cups. However, his involvement in the financial scandal has cast a shadow over his legacy.

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