A love for Olympiacos FC is in Evangelos Marinakis’ blood, “my father Miltiadis was a member and shareholder at Olympiacos for many years,” said Marinakis, explaining how he had a passion for football since being a child.
Olympiacos is one of the most successful Greek sports clubs. Evangelos Marinakis became the owner of it in 2010, buying the team from Sokratis Kokkalis. The club does incredibly well and has won numerous League titles, cups, super-cups and many other records. Marinakis appointed Ernesto Valverde as the coach, and signed internationally renowned players such as Francois Modesto, Kevin Mirallas, Aleber Riera, Marko Pantelic, and Ariel Ibagaza in his very first year. Olympiacos did well and were crowned Greek champions, as the result of a successful transfer season, which caused them to win the Greek title for the 38th time, and beat their top rival Panathinaikos by 13 points.
As early as 2010, Evangelos Marinakis showed that he wanted to take Olympiacos down a socially responsible route, by having them participate in the Match Against Poverty which was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and was held at Olympiacos’ home ground Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, in Piraeus. The game had the purpose of highlighting the global effort to reduce poverty. Evangelos Marinakis said, “No one should refuse the opportunity to help people who are suffering.” The proceeds of the game went to help a variety of important charities, such as helping people after the Haiti earthquake, helping the victims of the floods in Pakistan, helping Greek children with special needs, and towards meals for the poor organized by the Church of Piraeus.
Evangelos Marinakis continued to bring incredible players into the team, such as Djamel Abdou, Rafik Djebbour, Pablo Orbaiz, Jean Makoun and Ivan Marcano. Olympiacos did well at home and abroad. By the end of the 2013-14 season, they were performing very well domestically and internationally. They had a successful European campaign, managing to qualify to the knockout phase for the third time in six years.
It was in 2013 that Olympiacos started cooperating with UNICEF and the UNICEF logo was added to the Olympiacos football player’s red and white shirts. Evangelos Marinakis and Olympiacos donated money to UNICEF so that many children could receive vaccinations that would protect them against deadly diseases.
In the 2014-15 season they did well in the EUFA Europa League and won the 17th double in their history, plus the 42nd Greek Championship. One of the most notable matches from this ear was beating Atletico Madrid 3-2 at Olympiacos’ home ground, there were jubilant celebrations once the final whistle had been blown.
In 2015-16 this was Olympiacos’ 57th consecutive season in the Super League Greece – they managed to become the champions for the 6th consecutive year. This season saw Olympiacos have one of their most important European victories, with an away win over the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium. It had been a really tough Champions’ League group which included beating Arsenal 3-2 in London and Dinamo Zagreb twice. They achieved their 43rd Greek Championship in this year. In this year the player’s kit also honored the fact it was the 90th birthday of Olympiacos and had a 90-year gold badge on the arm. Evangelos Marinakis’ 90th birthday message spoke of the “pride and glory for the greatest Greek club” and how the club since its very beginnings has identified with, “Pride, Dignity, Strength, and Courage.”
In 2015-16 when there were refugees stranded in the Port of Piraeus, Evangelos Marinakis donated money so that the refugees could have food, shelter, and clothing. He very deliberately involved the entire Olympiacos football team and had the football captains and other members of the team visit the refugees. The captains played football with the children. Other players dished out food and clothing.
During 2016-17 there were a large number of different managers and coaches for the team, which seemed to impact a little on its stability. Olympiacos however, did manage to gain their 44th Greek Championship.
It was decided for the 2017-18 season decided to bring Bresnik Hasi to the club, as he had previously managed Anderlecht and Legia Warsaw and it was thought that he had the required experience to take Olympiacos back to the UEFA Champions League. He immediately when he arrived he strengthened the team with some excellent players, but he was dismissed and replaced with Takis Lemonis, who was replaced with Oscar Garcia who was dismissed after two months. Olympiacos did do well in the UEFA Europa League campaign, getting as far as the tournament’s final 16.
Evangelos Marinakis was not happy with the team’s performance, so many first-team players were advised to take a holiday. This shows Marinakis to be a very firm but fair person who expects people to work hard. Marinakis had players from his under 20 teams replace his first-team players, who he described as very entitled, which shows Evangelos Marinakis’ own work ethic, high expectations and standards, and shows also that he’s very in touch with how many working-class people feel. It will have gained Marinakis a lot of respect from the general public. Marinakis fined the squad £350.000 and also said they were blame for the high turnover of managers/coaches. Pedro Marins and Christos Kontis were also appointed as managers.
Evangelos Marinakis has done a lot of good for society via Olympiacos when there were Greek wildfires in July of 2018; they offered 1 mil. Euros to the victims, their families, and communities. He also set up accounts as collection points, to allow fans and other people to donate money to those in need. Sadly 93 people were killed in the wildfires that spread around the Athens area. A statement issued by Olympiacos said that “Olympiacos FC is participating in Greece’s great mourning for our fellow human beings … Olympiacos FC will immediately offer one million euros for the relief of the fire-stricken … In these difficult hours, all Greeks must be united and stand beside our fellow human beings who have been confronted with trials.”