Ionikos Football Club (Greek: ΠΑΕ Ιωνικός) is a Greek professional football club based in Nikaia, Athens, Greece, currently competing in the Super League Greece 2, the second tier of the Greek football league system.
|Full name||Αθλητικός Όμιλος Ιωνικός Νίκαιας|
|Founded||1 June 1965|
|Ground||Neapolis Public Stadium|
|League||Super League Greece 2|
|2019–20||Football League Greece, 2nd (promoted)|
From 1989 to 2007 Ionikos spent 16 out of 18 seasons in the Super League. During that span Ionikos finished as high as 5th-place in the league (on two occasions), was a finalist in the Greek Cup, and participated in the UEFA Cup.
The club's colours are blue and white.
Ionikos was established in 1965, from a merger of local clubs Nikaia Sports Union and Aris Piraeus, with Alex Meraklidis as new club's first president. The club's early years were not easy, but, with the support of its fans, Ionikos slowly improved through the 1970s and 1980s and eventually reached the top division in 1989.
The club's first promotion to the top flight was accompanied by unexpected problems—Dimitris Melissanidis withdrew as chairman, and the club needed 50 million drachmas to participate in the championship. Businessman Nikolaos Kanellakis stepped forward to provide the needed sum and become the club's new chairman.
Kanellakis' arrival would be the beginning of the club's greatest era—from the 1989 promotion, Ionikos would spend 16 of the next 18 seasons in the Greek top flight, up until 2007, and during that time the team would finish as high as 5th-place in the league (on two occasions), reach a Greek Cup Final, and compete in the UEFA Cup.
Greek Cup Final 2000Edit
Ionikos' UEFA Cup appearance came in the 1999–00 season—the opposition was French side Nantes, and Ionikos lost both home and away matches, 1–3 and 0–1, respectively. Ionikos reached the Greek Cup Final later that same season, where they came up against traditional power AEK, and, despite a valiant Ionikos effort, AEK won the match, 3–0.
On 21 April 2004 Ionikos experienced the most tragic moment of his history, when Nikolaos Kanellakis, the club's chairman for 14 years, died. Hundreds of Ionikos supporters—as well as other sports fans—attended Kanellakis' funeral, where the flag of Ionikos covered the coffin of the late chairman. Nikolaos' son Christos took his father's place as chairman.
Relegation to Second LeagueEdit
Ionikos' long run in the top flight ended in the 2006–07 season, when the team finished in 16th-place in the Super League and was relegated back to Beta Ethniki. Ionikos has spent the last two seasons in Beta Ethniki, finishing 5th and 4th place, respectively, as the club tries to rejoin the top flight.
Ionikos plays its home matches at Neapolis Public Stadium (Greek: Γήπεδο Νεάπολης), located in Nikaia, a suburb of Piraeus. The stadium was completed in 1965, and had its latest redevelopment in 2000. It currently has a seating capacity of 4,999, but record attendance is 6,565 for a match against Olympiacos in 1990.
Ionikos' organized supporters gather in Gate 3 at Neapoli Stadium.
Supporters and rivalsEdit
While Ionikos was competing in the lower divisions there were two main supporters' groups—the Association of Ionikos Nikaias Supporters and the Fan Club of Agios Georgios.
On Ionikos's promotion to the top division the Association of Ionikos Nikaias Supporters Rangers Club was formed—or Rangers Club, for short—with headquarters in Elefterias Square in Korydallos. Before Ionikos's first match in the top flight the Rangers Club organised a parade of 2,000 supporters from outside Rangers' headquarters to Stavros Mavrothalassitis Stadium, where Ionikos played its first three home matches of the 1989–90 season. Two years later the supporters' club offices moved to Neapolis, and then in 1996 to Nikaia, before returning to Neapolis in 1999. A second branch was established in Nikaia in 2004.
Ionikos fans have a rivalry with the fans of the other topic club of Nikaia, Proodeftiki.
The Derby of KokkiniaEdit
The football matches between Ionikos and Proodeftiki are called «The Derby of Kokkinia» or «The Derby of Nikaia».
- As of 12 February 2021
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
List of managersEdit
Ionikos managers from 1992.
- Beta Ethniki (Second Division)
- Winners (1): 1993–94
- Gamma Ethniki (Third Division)
- Winners (2): 1976–77, 1981–82 (Group 1)
- Delta Ethniki (Fourth Division)
- Winners (1): 2012–13 (Group 9)
- Piraeus FCA Championship (Local Championship)
- Winners (1): 1976–77
- Winners (1): 1981–82
Alpha Ethniki / Super LeagueEdit
Last Update 19 Μay 2009
- First participation: 1989–90
- Total participations: 16
- Wins: 151
- Draws: 139
- Losses: 212
- Goals Scored: 552
- Goals Conceded: 727
- Record Win: Ionikos 5–0 OFI Crete in 1997–98
- Record Loss: AEK Athens 6–0 Ionikos in 1995–96, Olympiacos 6–0 Ionikos in 2002–03
- First participation: 1965–66
- Total participations: 23
- Wins: 299
- Draws: 224
- Losses: 259
- Goals Scored: 925
- Goals Conceded: 849
- Record Win: Ionikos 8–0 Bizani in 1966–67, Ionikos 8–0 Anagennisi Artas in 1974–75
- Record Loss: Vyzas 7–0 Ionikos in 1971–72
Crest and colorsEdit
The emblem of the club is a resting star and its colors are blue and white.
Original & Alternative strips & colours
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2003 (2nd kit)
2008 (2nd kit)
Kit manufacturers and sponsorsEdit
|Period||Kit Manufacturer||Shirt Sponsor|
|2004–05||Mitre Sports International||Nectar S.A.|
|1999–00||UEFA Cup||1st Round||Nantes||1–3||0–1|
- "Greece – Final Tables 1959–1999". rsssf.com. 2003-08-03.
- "Greece −1997/98". rsssf.com.
- "Greece 1998/99". rsssf.com.
- "Greek Cup Finals". Hellenic Football Federation. Archived from the original on 2008-10-03.
- "UEFA Europa League Season 1999–2000 First Round". UEFA.com.
- "History". Ionikos F.C. Archived from the original on 2009-04-21. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Neapoli Stadium". Stadia.gr.
- "Rangers History". Rangers Club. Archived from the original on 2008-01-09.