Coach Roni Levy abruptly bids farewell to Maccabi Haifa

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July 28, 2016 00:01
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Maccabi Haifa is in disarray once more after parting ways with coach Roni Levy on Wednesday.

Levy, who signed a three-year contract last summer, clashed time and again with the club’s new Norwegian sports director Tor-Kristian Karlsen, and on the back of an embarrassing European exit, the sides decided to go their separate ways.

“In a conversation I had this morning with coach Roni Levy at my office we decided it would be best to part ways,” club owner Jacob Shachar said in a statement. “An announcement regarding a replacement will be made in due course.”

Levy guided Haifa to the State Cup last season, its first title in five years and first State Cup in 18 years. However, it was another disappointing campaign overall for the club that dominated Israeli soccer in the first decade of the 21st century, with the Greens finishing in fourth place in the Premier League standings.

The position of sports director was created at the club for Karlsen earlier this summer, a move Levy accepted. However, it wasn’t long before the two began to disagree regarding the players the club needed to sign, with the rift growing with every passing week.

The humbling exit at the hands of Nomme Kalju of Estonia in the Europa League second qualifying round added to the pressure at the club and ultimately led to Wednesday’s decision. Karlsen is believed to be interested in bringing in a foreign coach, with Israeli Guy Luzon also believed to be a candidate.

Levy returned to Haifa with high expectations after guiding the team to three consecutive championships between 2004 and 2006. He left the club in 2008 after two relatively disappointing seasons and his career has never really recovered.

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