Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis is a busy man – much busier than he would like to be at times when it comes to business interests stretching across Europe.

The arrival of the Greek shipping magnate at the City Ground back in May 2017 was welcomed with open arms.

Given what had gone before him, a show of affection from the Nottingham natives came as no real surprise.

Trust had to be earned, though, and Marinakis has made all of the right noises.

Headlines are never far away from a larger-than-life character, but that often comes with the territory.

You do not enjoy the success he has had without ruffling a few feathers along the way.

Much of the noise generated from afar is, however, to be taken with a sizeable pinch of salt.

Jealously and envy are as much a by-product of success as acclaim and adoration.

Marinakis has found that out the hard way on occasions – especially back home.

Stunned

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

A controlling stake at Olympiacos has him there to be shot at, with a gun-toting counterpart at arch-rivals PAOK taking that metaphor a little too literally at times.

Ivan Savvidis stunned the football world back in March 2018 when taking to the field after a game with AEK Athens fully armed.

He was looking to confront match officials that had incurred his wrath by disallowing a late goal, but Marinakis has often find himself in the firing line.

General playground bickering has become commonplace and with that in mind, it is no great shock to find that Savvidis is being thrust back under the microscope.

Inside World Football report that the Russian-Greek billionaire finds himself at the centre of an ownership storm.

Allegedly, power at PAOK is not enough for a man who made his fortune in the tobacco industry, with ties unearthed between his Cyprus-based holding company RFA and Xanthi.

Inside World Football claims: “A report by the recently launched ONE channel TV Station has uncovered a money and ownership trail linking Xanthi to Savvidis via his Cyprus-based holding company RFA, the corporate vehicle that holds the ownerships of a number of Savvidis’s investments and through which the bulk of his business dealings appear to be funnelled.

“ONE Channel shows in its report how RFA is closely connected to another Cyprus-based corporation, Dimera, which has made multiple loans to RFA companies. Dimera bought the shares of PAOK in 2012. 

“Greek federation rules forbid multiple club ownership with sanctions including the possibility of relegation for both clubs as well as life bans from football for individuals.”

Projects

 

This is just another example of the fires that Marinakis finds himself having to fight.

And such rows divert attention away from all of the fine work that he does alongside the legal disputes and battles for power that remain without substance and an unwelcome distraction.

You only have to look at the projects overseen across the last 18 months in Nottingham to get a better idea of the man Marinakis is and the picture he wants to paint.

From helping the homeless and food bank collections to piecing together plans for a serious facelift of the City Ground, there are feel-good stories to be found across the board.

A man who has very much bought into the community feel of Forest has also helped to fund local schools football, while the ‘Dream Big!’ programme is providing education and inspiration for primary school students across the county.

Are these efforts picked up and fed out to the masses? No.

They should be, though, as there is certainly much more to Marinakis than meets the eye or what tabloid sensationalism across Europe would have you believe.

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