Betar Jerusalem was plunged back into crisis on Thursday, after Dan Adler and
Adam Levin pulled out of the deal to purchase the club from Arkadi
It was just two weeks ago that Adler told the Jerusalem Post
that “we pride ourselves on being people who do what they say they are going to
do. We are jumping into this not because we want to jump in and jump out but
because we are making a very long commitment and we believe it is actually not
only going to be a long road ahead but an incredibly exciting and promising
However, on Thursday morning the duo sent a letter to Betar
claiming that the deal should be renegotiated due to former sponsor Guma
Aguiar’s plea to the Jerusalem District Court to delay the takeover last week,
an appeal which was rejected on Tuesday.
In fact, following the lifting
of the injunction on Tuesday, Adler and Levin said in a press release that “we
have already ordered our lawyers to transfer the $400,000 to Gaydamak’s
trustee’s account, and we are working with chairman Itzik Kornfein on a
respectable budget for the club.”
However, despite promising time and
again that the money is on its way, the pair never transferred the $400,000 they
said they would, and on Thursday they left Betar in dire straits a mere hours
after assuring fans that they had the club’s best interests at
Adler and Levin’s shameless antics leave Kornfein in a race
against time to steer the side clear of liquidation and open the upcoming season
with a balanced budget.
Kornfein is hoping to raise more than NIS 3.5
million from the sale of striker Hen Azriel to either Maccabi Haifa or Hapoel
Tel Aviv, with defenders Moshe Mishaelof and Tomer Ben-Yosef also possibly on
their way out of the club.
Kornfein also plans to defer his NIS 900,000
yearly salary until next season and cut the wages of star players Aviram
Bruchian and Amit Ben- Shushan.
Following the Americans’ withdrawal, the
Israel Football Association’s Budget Control Authority agreed to give Betar an
extension to post its budget for the 2011/12 season, something it was supposed
to complete by Thursday night.
The sale of players, combined with pay
cuts, should ensure Betar survives the sad episode of Adler and Levin and opens
the season as planned.
However, the dreams that Jerusalem had fans built
around the Americans’ promises were dashed on Thursday, leaving the Betar
faithful to come to terms with the harsh reality that the future of their
beloved club once more hangs in the balance.