Hapoel Tel Aviv looks to overcome financial woes

Tel Aviv faces five of the league’s top six teams in its following five games.

December 9, 2016 04:57
2 minute read.
Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Guy Luzon reveled that he is still waiting to be paid last month’s salary, but

Hapoel Tel Aviv coach Guy Luzon reveled that he is still waiting to be paid last month’s salary, but said he will not use that as an excuse ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match at Hapoel Haifa.. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)


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Hapoel Tel Aviv players will have to somehow turn their focus back to the action on the field on Saturday after a tumultuous week which has cast a dark shadow over one of the most illustrious clubs in Israeli soccer.

Hapoel owner Amir Kabiri approached the Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday with a request for a stay of legal proceedings due to debts estimated at over NIS 100 million.

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Kabiri had big plans for Hapoel when he took over the club just 18 months ago, but the 36-year-old is set to officially relinquish all control on Sunday, assuming judge Eitan Orenstein approves the request to name a trustee.

The trustee will aim to reach agreements with the club’s many creditors, while looking for a new owner to take charge as soon as possible.

According to Israel Football Association regulations, a club which is granted a stay of legal proceedings is punished with a deduction of nine points. The point deduction will only become official next week, but as things currently stand, it would leave Hapoel with just five points after 12 matches, sending it to the bottom of the Premier League standings, six points from safety.

Hapoel beat Bnei Yehuda 1-0 on Sunday for just its third win of the campaign and hosts Bnei Sakhnin on Saturday before entering one of its toughest stretches of the season.

Tel Aviv faces five of the league’s top six teams in its following five games, including a visit to champion Hapoel Beersheba and home matches against Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

“Our main goal is to stay up,” said Hapoel coach Guy Luzon. “That is far from a simple task, but it is a challenge which keeps me focused.

“We have been deducted nine point and don’t have a real home ground having to play in Petah Tikva due to the rebuilding of Bloomfield.

We are also dealing with a depleted squad, but we will do our all to maintain our Premier League status.

“Considering our situation every match is a key match and we need to treat the game against Sakhnin as if it is the last game of the season,” added Luzon. “I always believe we will win.”

Also Saturday, Hapoel Kfar Saba hosts Ironi Kiryat Shmona, Bnei Yehuda visits Hapoel Ashkelon and Maccabi Haifa goes to Hapoel Ra’anana.

On Sunday, Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Hapoel Haifa, which will be playing for the first time since the sacking of coach Eli Cohen, while Ashdod SC hosts Maccabi Petah Tikva.

Beitar Jerusalem faces Beersheba in Petah Tikva on Monday.

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