Heavy debts force Hapoel TA to go to court

Hapoel to be deducted nine points for requesting a stay of legal proceedings; Beitar beats Haifa 2-0.

December 6, 2016 00:16
2 minute read.
Hapoel Tel Aviv owner Amir Kabiri is set to relinquish control of the club today when he will approa

Hapoel Tel Aviv owner Amir Kabiri is set to relinquish control of the club today when he will approach the District Court requesting a stay of legal proceedings due to debts close to NIS 100 million. (. (photo credit: DANNY MARON)

After months of uncertainty, Hapoel Tel Aviv announced on Monday that it will approach the District Court requesting a stay of legal proceedings due to debts in the region of NIS 100 million.

Once Hapoel’s request is approved the court will appoint a trustee which will take full control of the club from owner Amir Kabiri and will try to steady the ship while finding a new owner. The trustee will look into Hapoel’s many debts and aim to reach an agreement with the club’s creditors.

According to Israel Football Association regulations, a team that requests a stay of legal proceedings is immediately deducted nine points, which in Hapoel’s case will leave it with just five points after 12 matches and send it to the bottom of the Premier League standings, six points from safety.

“With the financial situation at the club over the past 10 years, and its serious nature which was only fully revealed over recent months, the club decided that there is no option but to request a stay of legal proceedings, due to the growing debts, commitments and lawsuits which reach around NIS 100 million,” read a club statement.

“Over the past year-and-a-half, since the arrival of owner Amir Kabiri, a great effort and huge sums were invested in order to stabilize the club’s financial situation. But after much thought, the club came to the conclusion that this procedure is necessary.”

Kabiri had big plans for Hapoel when he took over the club, but he never truly seemed to fathom its dire financial state, saying just three months ago that its debt stands at NIS 45 million, less than half of what he claimed on Monday. Players, and in particular lower paid club staff, have had the payment of their salaries delayed time and again since Kabiri’s takeover, with the 36-year-old claiming previous owners left behind numerous financial commitments.

Beitar dominates Haifa on the road Beitar Jerusalem coach Ran Ben-Shimon breathed a huge sigh of relief after his team claimed a 2-0 win at Maccabi Haifa on Monday night.

Jerusalem had won only one of its previous five matches, and three games in all until Monday. However, the victory at Haifa Stadium moved Beitar up to fifth place, just three points back of Maccabi Tel Aviv in second.

Lidor Cohen scored both of Beitar’s goals, making the most of a mistake by goalkeeper Omri Glazer in the 39th minute before doubling the advantage with a cool finish in the 68th minute.

“It was important to me that we would win with a good performance,” said Ben-Shimon, who may have lost his job had Beitar failed to win once more. “I never had a doubt that we have an excellent team which registered poor results.”

Haifa remained in third place with its first home defeat of the season.

“It was a very bad day at the office,” said Haifa coach Rene Meulensteen.

“We never got in the game. We were second best throughout the game.

Credit to Beitar. They stuck to their game plan and stayed with it throughout the entire match. We have to take this on the chin and brush it off.”

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