The Greek Championship was one of the just a few European water polo leagues that weren’t canceled. The Greek league was finished but without the playoffs.
AEK and Peristeri were promoted from the A2 league to the highest competition level. None of the clubs was relegated. It was planned that 14 (instead of 12) teams compete in the next season.
But, it is still unclear how many clubs will play in the league.
Panathinaikos, which finished in the last, 12th place, decided to withdraw from the A1 league and will be relegated voluntarily to the A2 League. The club’s management said that the decision had been tough. But, with the current financial situation, they aren’t able to compete in the highest division.
The economic crisis, caused by the pandemic, affected water polo. Panathinaikos isn’t the only club that found itself in trouble.
Most of the other Greek A1 clubs are preparing for the next season, and they are finishing the composition of their teams for the upcoming season. Chios (9th place in the last season), is the only club that hasn’t brought any additions. That fact suggests that Chios also might withdraw, but the club hasn’t issued any official information about the next season.
Something similar is happening in Italy.
Sport Management has been one of the best Italian clubs in the last few seasons. It played at the 2019 Champions League Final Eight.
This summer, all of the players and head coach Marco Baldineti left the club, which is facing financial difficulties. Nobody has come to Sport Management, and the future of the club is still uncertain.
The Italian A1 clubs had an opportunity to declare whether they will play in the highest rank or they want to be relegated to the A2 league without any sanctions. As we already reported, until the deadline (which was in June), only Canottieri Naples decided to withdraw from the A1 league. Canottieri, the former European champion, is replaced by Metanopoli Milan.
Sport Management hasn’t said that it would withdraw, but the club has no players and a coach. The management is in talks with several companies for sponsorship, but without success.
If Sport Management withdraws, Catania will probably replace the side from Busto Arsizio.