Haim Ramon 390.
(photo credit: Gil Cohen Magen / Reuters)
Hapoel Tel Aviv fans can finally dream of a brighter future after a group headed
by former member of Knesset Haim Ramon purchased the club from Eli Tabib on
Wednesday, bringing to an end one of the rockiest periods in team
The Ramon group will pay Tabib NIS 12 million over the next
year, with a further five million to be transferred to the former owner in the
following five years.
Any debts from Tabib’s time as boss, which are
estimated to be in the millions, will be deducted from the amount
“As of today, Hapoel Tel Aviv is owned by a group I head and the
club is embarking on a new course,” said Ramon, who served as a member of
Knesset between 1983 and 2009 and announced on Tuesday that he intends to found
a new centrist political party.
“The club has suffered in the past two
years from disputes between its owners and that hurt the team. I believe that
had matters been normal Hapoel could have won the championship in each of the
past two seasons.”
Ramon refused to reveal who belongs to the group he
represents, but insisted that once the payments to Tabib are completed the names
of those providing the funding will be made public.
Ramon claimed that
all those involved are fans, including new chairman Professor Moshe Bar-Niv and
CEO Amir Lubin, who returns to the position he held before Tabib seized
According to Ramon’s plan, every Hapoel fan will eventually have
an option to purchase small stakes of the club, with the intention of 50 percent
ultimately being owned by supporters.
“We want to rebuild the club after
the difficult period it has been through,” Ramon said.
“The fans are the
most important part of the club and the team’s strength this season will depend
on the income from the sale of season tickets. We will be able to strengthen the
squad if we see that we are selling many season tickets.”
development is especially good news for coach Nitzan Shirazi, who can finally
begin the team’s preparations for the coming campaign.
“Until now I
haven’t enjoyed one day of quiet at Hapoel,” said Shirazi, who replaced Dror
Kashtan as coach in January.
“Our initial goal will be to hold on to our
current squad and eventually bring in a couple of new players. That will allow
us to compete for all the titles the way Hapoel aspires to every season.”