Yitzhak Shum's first press conference as coach of Panathinaikos FC this afternoon will be marred by the absence of Angelos Filippidis, the team's president.
Filippidis, who was slated to present the ex-Maccabi Haifa coach to the Greek media at the Plaza Hotel today, stunned Panathinaikos yesterday by announcing his resignation.
Under Filippidis' three-year term, Panathinaikos failed to win a Greek championship. The club finished second in the league this season behind archrival Olympiakos Piraeus which clinched its seventh consecutive title.
Filippidis did not say why he was stepping down, but the local press attributed his resignation to a difference of opinion with team owner Yiannis Vardinoyiannis. The outgoing president apparently also disagreed with the acquisition policies of the team's technical director, Velimir Zajec.
The team's board of directors hurried to issue a statement thanking Filippidis for his "devoted service" and appointing Argiris Mitsou as his replacement. Mitsou has been the team's physician for 20 years.
Shum landed in Athens yesterday morning and disappointed the local press by following the management's instructions not to grant interviews.
According to the Greek press, Shum spent most of the day yesterday in closed-door meetings. He is expected to take his orders from Zajec, who has become the club's strongman after the departure of Filippidis.
In addition to presenting Shum to the press, the news conference today is also expected to include announcements regarding new foreign players recruited for the team.
Shum, 54, signed a two-year contract to replace Uruguayan Sergio Markarian, who quit the club in response to protests from supporters angry at a crucial defeat against Olympiakos Piraeus.
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