Eli Tabib 370.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Eli Tabib took a significant step towards finally becoming the new owner of
Beitar Jerusalem on Thursday after the Jerusalem District Court approved the
transfer of the club to his hands from Arkadi Gaydamak.
Gaydamak seemed to be on the verge of completing a deal three weeks ago before
the latter caught everyone by surprise for the countless time throughout 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.
Gaydamak claimed at the time that “it would be
irresponsible of me to transfer the club to Eli Tabib,” but after the Majidof
deal fell through on Tuesday his representatives backtracked in court on
Thursday and told judge Carmi Musak that they have no objection to turning over
the ownership to Tabib.
Tabib agreed to cover the club’s debts estimated
at NIS 12.5 million for a 75 percent stake of the club, with the remaining 25%
to be held by an organization of Beitar fans.
Tabib will now have to
overcome one more obstacle before he officially seizes control of Beitar, with
the Israel Football Association’s Budget Control Authority still to approve the
Tabib sold his ownership stake in Hapoel Tel Aviv last year and
the Budget Control Authority will have to determine if he has completed a
year-long cooling down period as required by the IFA’s regulations.
will also have to decide if the charges he faces for attacking a minor and
disruption of justice relating to an incident outside his home last year during
a protest by Hapoel fans doesn’t prohibit him from owning a
District Court judge Amnon Straschnov ruled Tabib to be unfit to
own a soccer club way back in August 2000 due to his criminal record, but he has
since bought and sold Hapoel and the IFA is expected to authorize his purchase
of Beitar next week.
In other Israeli soccer news, Maccabi Tel Aviv
announced on Thursday that it has agreed terms with French club Stade de Reims
for the transfer of last season’s top scorer Eliran Atar.
led the Premier League with 22 goals to help the club to its first championship
in 10 years. Maccabi is set to receive a transfer fee estimated at $1.8 million
as well as 10 percent of future sale proceeds.
“It was a very difficult
decision for us to accept the offer from Stade de Reims due to Eliran’s
contribution to Maccabi during his three seasons at the club,” sports director
Jordi Cruyff told the club’s website.
“The substantial improvement Eliran
has made over the past 12 months together with his desire to fulfill his dream
of playing in a big league made us realize we can’t block what is a very good
opportunity for him.”