After disappointing last year, owner of PAOK Ivan Savvidis decided to give the complete control of the team to a famous technical director, along with a season budget of 40 million euros, from which Arnesen spent the 20 in personal transfers. His contract is the second biggest in the club, only behind famous international Dimitar Berbatov, with a yearly salary of 950.000 euros.
Arnesen selected Igor Tudor as the new manager of the team, a well-known former footballer of Juventus, but without managerial experience at the age of 37, with only a spell at his motherland with Hajduk Split. Tudor has failed so far to create a competitive side, PAOK hold only the 5th Super League position and were eliminated before Europa League's knockout stage, while the Croatian (along with his staff) earns 650.000 euros per year.
PAOK made 11 transfers last summer and the best of them was that of former technical director Zisis Vryzas, Charis Charisis from PAS Giannina. A talented and promising youngster, despite some injuries, who was already bought along with his teammate Nikos Korovesis since last January and joined the squad six months afterwards.
The most successful transfer of Frank Arnesen is Cape Verdian winger Garry Rodrigez, who has proved his quality at his 26 appearances so far (he also had some injury problems). However, when AEK approached his former team, Elche, for the 26-year-old international last summer, the transfer could have been completed for 250.000 euros, when PAOK finally spent more than 800.000 totally.
The other transfer choices of Arnesen have been a disaster financially and inside the field so far. The worst was that of Swedish goalkeeper of Malmo Robin Olsen for 1.2 million euros, 500.000 of which were earned by his agents, when their usual percentage is 10%! The player performed in 19 matches, conceived some ridiculous goals and was lent to Kobenhavn until the end of season.
PAOK also paid 1.1 million euros to Rijeca for Croatian left defender Marin Leovac, who has also not proved that he is worth it at his 19 appearances, usually with average performances.
Arnesen discovered Slovak midfielder Eric Sabo during his team's, Spartak Trnava, Europa League matches against PAOK and paid 650.000 euros to buy him, while another slovak club, AS Trencin, earned a million from Brazilian forward Jairo's transfer to Greece. They have both failed to impress with their performances, at least they have played in many matches this season (Sabo 23, Jairo 20).
On the contrary, Greek-Australian midfielder Terry Antonis has performed in only two Greek Cup matches, while PAOK paid 450.000 to his former team, Sidney FC, and another 200.000 to his agents.
Another transfer that exceeded one million euros was that of Bosnian midfielder Gojko Cimirot from Sarajevo (800.000 to the team, 250.000 to agents), which is a transfer record for that country! Cimirot had a serious injury at the beginning of the season, but during last month has given some solid performances and he needs more time to be judged fairly.
Arnesen had nothing to do with the expensive signing of free-agent Dimitar Berbatov, with a contract of 1.5 million euros per year, which was a strategic move of the club in order to improve its reputation in Europe. As well, central defender Stelios Malezas returned to PAOK, which paid 100.000 euros to Panaitolikos, but he was already a known person and there was no need for scouting.
To conclude, Arnesen's transfers cost to Ivan Savvidis 7.5 million euros, an amount of money which will be increased to 20 millions only with their first-season contracts! Generally, the season budget of PAOK is over 40 millions, half of them spent by the Danish technical director, but the team is currently at 5th Super League position, 27 points behind Olympiakos, without victory at last seven matches, with winning the Greek Cup as the only season target and the fans complaining for the disappointing performances.
Ivan Savvidis trusted Frank Arnesen and accomplished all his requests, but the results were simply disastrous and the Greek-Russian businessman seems to have already decided about his future, while he is willing to give manager Igor Tudor another chance until the end of season.