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Santos Steps Down As Coach Of AEK
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05/09/2002.

Fernando Santos has announced his decision to resign as coach of AEK Athens, despite the fact that he has succeeded in clinching the Greek Cup and securing a Champions League spot for the capital club.

The Portuguese tactician has enjoyed a special relationship with the 'Enosi' players and fans, but has often been at odds with the club's top brass. During the past winter break he walked out as a result of the board's constant interfering in his transfer strategies, only to be persuaded by AEK chairman Makis Psomiadis to return to his post.

The former Porto manager has never felt completely content at the Athenian club, however, and on Thursday he confirmed the worst fears of the supporters – who have gone to the extent of organizing rallies to persuade Santos to stay - by announcing his decision to step down from the helm at AEK.

"It has been a great pleasure and source of pride to serve AEK," said Santos. "I go with the certain knowledge that I am leaving as a friend."

Regarding his immediate future the charismatic 47-year-old commented: "There have been discussions but there have been no agreements. I am now available and on the market."

With the departure of Santos now confirmed, current PAOK Salonica coach Dusan Bayevic is now thought to be the favourite to take over at AEK next season.

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He goes away from A.E.K., while we all know that he succeeded very much while he worked here. He drived the yellows in the 2nd position, and that's something that nobody thought it would happen! He erased the dead!
 

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