Jordi Cruyff (left) and Mitch Goldhar (Right) .
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
While the dust is still settling from the news that Jordi Cruyff will be leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv after six years at the end of the season, any notion that club owner Mitch Goldhar is also on his way out was unequivocally dispelled by the Canadian Jew.
Goldhar took over Maccabi in August 2009 and his decision to bring in Cruyff as a sports director three years later completely changed the fortunes of the club. Maccabi went on to win three consecutive Premier League championships after a drought of a decade, while also reaching the Champions League and Europa League group stages.
After five years, Cruyff moved down from the front office to become the team’s head coach at the start of this season, but he announced on Tuesday that his time at the club will come to an end following this campaign in what both he and Goldhar described as a mutual decision.
Maccabi has still got plenty to play for this season, sitting in third place in the standings, five points behind leader Hapoel Beersheba with nine matches to go and 27 points still up for grabs.
Nevertheless, Goldhar will soon be focusing on the upcoming summer in which Maccabi is set to replace almost all of its coaching staff and also make plenty of changes to its squad.
“I want a culture of change,” said Goldhar, who wants to see more of the products of the club’s youth department playing for the first team, in large part to ensure Maccabi complies with UEFA’s Financial Fair play rules.
“I believe that a culture of change will bring results.
“We really haven’t achieved what I set out to achieve,” he added. “We have definitely achieved a lot and I’m grateful for that. But an important component for me of what I wanted to achieve and what I still hope to achieve is to develop a culture at Maccabi that we will fight above our weight even more so than now. We are somewhat in the middle of that process and we want to continue and do that. I’m not ready to say this project is done.
“When I bought the team it was basically bankrupt. It was insolvent and it had a lot of problems so it took a while to get things in a position to go forward. Jordi came along and really helped us start shaping this organization into a professional European standard club.
But this is a project that continues and we’ll continue to see changes at Maccabi Tel Aviv this summer.”