Stelios Mylonas has revealed that he will be stepping down from his role of chairman of financially-struggling Omonia following a shock club announcement late on Monday night.
The club will now head into emergency elections set to take place next month.
The Nicosia businessman took over the chairmanship of the club board on January 1 this year in a bid to save the club from bankruptcy as a mountainous debut of just under €15m continues to cast a shadow over the 20-time league champions.
Despite managing to trim down the debts, the club’s task only got harder ahead of the new championship following their early elimination from Europe in the summer coupled by their opening day defeat to title rivals Anorthosis Famagusta on the weekend.
“A person usually resigns when he discovers that he is doing more harm than good by remaining in his position. I decided to resign for the good of the team because I feel a change is needed here. It was not our elimination from Europe or the defeat to Anorthosis that prompted my decision.”
Mylonas went on to accuse certain people of “unfairly targeting” club officials and that his resignation was a matter of principle.
“How can some people support me but at the same time target my colleagues. They won’t let them do their job. A chairman has a duty to protect his colleagues. This is a matter or principle.”
Mylonas stepped into the Omonia hot-seat this year after the leadership of the club was left hanging in the air when his predecessor, Miltiades Neophytou, exited the club on September 3 last year.
Omonia, who are Cyprus’ most titled football team along with bitter rivals APOEL, are struggling to curb debts totaling €14.5m and could find themselves in more trouble – including expulsion from Europe next season or a deduction of points - if they fail to balance their books before the end of the month.
“The club budget was €9.5m and that has now shrunk to €5.5m. We need to raise €2.5m for this season of which €1.2 is needed now for the month of September…I cannot continue as club chairman. Last season, Omonia were in the worst possible position owing many millions. Now the debt stands at €14.5m. It’s not exactly a small sum but had we clinched a loan, then things would be a lot better.”
Cyprus’ other big club, Anorthosis, are also struggling to fight off huge debts and also saw a change of leadership last month when Savvas Kakos resigned and was replaced by former player Achilleas Nicolaou.