Beitar Jerusalem owner Eli Tabib.
(photo credit: ASAF KLIGER)
Eli Tabib insisted he is looking to sell Beitar Jerusalem on Thursday, but said he will only do so should his demands be met.
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat met with Tabib last week and presented him with an offer from former owners, brothers Meir and Shaul Levy.
According to the Jerusalem Municipality, the Levy brothers are willing to pay Tabib NIS 10 million for the club, and cover up to NIS 12 million of its debt.
However, Tabib vehemently rejected the offer, which he described as frivolous, and wouldn’t reveal his asking price on Thursday “I’m under massive pressure from my family to leave the soccer world and I want to fulfill their wish, but I won’t do so all of the sudden and desert Beitar Jerusalem,” said Tabib. “I will leave when I find the right person or group to take over the club. Beitar is up for sale, but in the meantime my staff and I will continue to prepare the club for next season.”
Tabib seized control of the club two years ago without paying previous owner Arkadi Gaydamak a single shekel, agreeing to cover the club’s debts estimated at the time at NIS 12.5 million.
Tabib has spoken repeatedly of the pressure placed on him by his family to sell the club, especially after he was shot and lightly wounded outside his home in Kfar Shmaryahu in March. Police believe the shooting was connected with Israeli organized crime and that Tabib was a victim of extortion.
Tabib announced the signing of Slobodan Drapic as the team’s new head coach in place of Guy Levy earlier this week. Levy, who replaced Menahem Koretzki in February, led the club to European qualification for the first time since 2008. Beitar currently only has eight players under contract for next season, but the squad is scheduled to already return to training next week, with the team to begin its continental campaign in the Europa League first qualifying round on July 2.
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