BEITAR JERUSALEM’S Avi Rikan 370.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
The never-ending saga at Beitar Jerusalem took another inexplicable twist on
Wednesday, leaving the club’s future shrouded in doubt as the new season edges
It was just last week that representatives of owner Arkadi
Gaydamak announced that after months of negotiations and misinformation they had
reached an agreement with Eli Tabib to purchase the club.
the news and it seemed that the official approval of the transaction by the
Israel Football Association was all that was missing to complete the
However, Gaydamak stalled on giving his final answer and on Tuesday
night he caught everyone by surprise for the countless time during his eight
years at Beitar when he announced that he had agreed to sell at least a 50
percent stake in the club to a group of Russian businessmen headed by Tamarlan
Majidof was behind Beitar’s bizarre mid-season friendly
match versus Terek Grozny in the Chechen capital. He also helped complete the
loan deals of Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev from Grozny to Jerusalem, which
shook the club to its foundation after fans vehemently objected to the signing
of the Muslim players.
Majidof, who resides in Chechnya but has Israeli
citizenship, is believed to be the front man for a mysterious group of
”There is a group of very rich Russian businessmen who want
to invest in Beitar,” a statement by Gaydamak read.
“Tamir Majdof will
head the group which will invest at least $5 million in the club. It would be
irresponsible of me to transfer the club to Eli Tabib. Majidof will purchase at
least a 50 percent stake and will add more investors that will turn Beitar into
a strong team.”
Meanwhile, Tabib announced on Tuesday that he had signed
a deal with an organization of Beitar fans that will allow him to seize full
control of the club.
The supporters transferred the cash-stricken club
NIS 2.1 million they had collected from thousands of fans last summer and in
return were given seats on the club’s directorate as well as an option to
purchase full control of the franchise.
Gaydamak denies they have a
clause in the agreement that allows them to do so and the dispute with Tabib
could well only be decided in court.
It remains to be seen how the
disagreement will be resolved, but what seems certain is that this will be
another summer of discontent for anyone connected with Beitar Jerusalem.