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SHARON SOLOMON \
eyal berkovic 88.
Eyal Berkovic has done it yet again.
In trademark bizarre style the former Israeli international officially announced his retirement from Maccabi Netanya on Wednesday, just two months after being appointed manager of the club.
Berkovic took the job at the end of last season but never even had a chance to manage the team during the regular season.
Maccabi Netanya has been going through massive changes since it was bought by German businessman Daniel Jammer.
"I left the job due to poor professional relations with Daniel Jammer." Berkovic said, explaining his sudden move. "I wanted to resign last month, but I chose to complete the moves that I initiated before leaving the job."
"The Magician" became known for becoming involved in controversy, dating back to his early days at Maccabi Haifa.
Berkovic was later involved in a famous scuffle with John Hartson at West Ham United in 1998 which led to him leaving the London club.
He was also was a notable critic of former national coach Avraham Grant.
Berkovic was the most active manager in the transfer market this summer, signing no less than fifteen players including Mazua Ensombo from Betar Jerusalem, Liran Strauber from Maccabi Tel Aviv and teenage sensation Itai Shekhter from Upper Nazareth.
He also brought in Eli Gutman as head coach, before appointing former teammate Marko Balbul as his assistant.
Jammer, the club's owner and chairman, refused to disclose the exact reason for Berkovic's premature departure, but hinted that he was concerned with his manager's impulsive approach and professional decisions.
"I knew my friendship with Eyal could cause a problem in the future." The German tycoon told reporters on Wednesday. "He [Berkovic] did a great job in Netanya. He has proved that he was not only a great player, but also that he can develop into a worldclass manager."
Sources at the club later disclosed that Jammer and Berkovic were involved in a heated debate regarding the manager's performance and provocative attitude, which resulted in a mutual decision to part ways with immediate effect.
Netanya had already been involved in controversy this post-season. A few weeks after announcing former Maccabi Tel Aviv and Betar Jerusalem coach Ton Caanen as part of the coaching staff the Dutchman left the club.
Long time caretaker Koby Baladev is expected to fill in for the outgoing Berkovic, while Gutman will take over all the professional management duties.
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