Former Chelsea and Ghana midfielder Michael Essien is demanding €651,000 compensation from Greek giants Panathinaikos in an acrimonious severance package negotiations, GHANAsoccernet.com can exclusively reveal.
The 34-year-old tabled the demand on Monday when his two lawyers appeared before the Finance Dispute Resolution chamber of the Greek Football Federation to face Panathinaikos.
Represented by one of the highly respected sports lawyers in Greece Lina and Aspa Souloukou, who are sisters, Essien sought the payment of the entire money from his remaining one-year contract with the Greek giants Panathinaikos.
That is because the previously agreed monthly payment of €91,250 was not honoured for six months by the Greek club which forced his lawyers to report Panathinaikos to the football authorities.
However Panathinaikos lawyer rejected the claims of the Ghana star insisting that the former Chelsea player is seeking to blackmail the Greek club.
“He (Essien) came here, he left and he is blackmailing us at the moment. Of the 45 games, he could only play 17,” argued Panathinaikos lawyer John Carmona, who stressed that the new conditions demanded by the must not be accepted.
The Greek football authorities must now decide whether to grant Essien’s request.
The former Chelsea star reached an agreement at the start of the season to leave the Greek side Panathinaikos after just one season with the giants.
Essien, who previously played for European giants AC Milan and Real Madrid, had one year left on his contract with Panathinaikos.
But talks between Essien’s representatives and Panathinaikos have not gone smoothly.
The two sides were in talks for a mutual agreement before the Ghanaian was declared a free agent which will allow him to join a club of his choice.
The agreement allows Essien to join any club of his choice without referring to Panathinaikos but the Greeks must pay him the remainder of his contract.
The mutual agreement marked the end of one of the most unsuccessful signings in history of Panathinaikos.
Essien is currently is England training with his former club Chelsea as he eyes the possible move.
The ex-Ghana international joined Panathinaikos on a two-year deal two years ago but his spell was blighted by constant injury woes which sparked the quest for him to be released.
Essien was among three players including Abdul Jeleel Ajagun, German’s Jens Wemmer and Stathis Tavlaridis who are being shown the exit door.
Essien, who joined Panathinaikos last season from AC Milan, was the highest paid player at the club with an annual salary of 800,000 Euros.