Bankruptcy looms for Betar Jerusalem

Bankruptcy looms for Bet

By JEREMY LAST
November 9, 2009 03:12
2 minute read.
Aguiar Ronaldinho 248.88

Aguiar Ronaldinho 248.88 . (photo credit: )

Betar Jerusalem sponsor Guma Aguiar is likely to take the club into bankruptcy in the coming weeks unless either the creditors of owner Arkadi Gaydamak stop demanding Aguiar pay the Russian-Israeli's debts or the courts rule that the club isn't liable for the money owed. The Brazilian-born energy maganate had hoped to save Betar from becoming bankrupt in the summer when he pumped some $6m. into the organization to cover the expenses for the 2009/10 season. But this cash injection has not prevented a number of people and organizations claiming to be former partners of Gaydamak coming to Aguiar for money. "I thought if I came in at that point [summer 2009] we would save [the club] and people would back it up," Aguiar told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. "But the vultures think they will get some blood from me, So I'm going to back off and they will realize they wont be able to come to me for money." Aguiar said he only wants to do what is best for the club, and the city of Jerusalem, but, "the question is, am I going to continue to put money into something if I read articles on a daily basis saying people are coming after the team?" "The courts are telling us, and the lien holders' lawyers are telling us, they have the right to go into the team, break it up and sell it off which means the team will go into bankruptcy, which is where it was in the summer. What we did this summer was to put a band-aid on something which should have, and could have gone into bankruptcy," Aguiar added. If the team does file for bankruptcy protection, it will potentially allow Aguiar to buy it without any obligations to those owed money by Gaydamak. The Russian native is still the official team owner although he has been back in the mother country for the last year, and just last month was sentenced to six years in prison by a French court for his involvement in sales of arms to Angola. Filing for bankruptcy, however, will also mean that Betar could be hit with a nine-point deduction from its league points total. Despite the financial and legal difficulties Aguiar has found himself in with Betar, he has still been doing his utmost to promote the club around the European and international soccer world. Last week, after watching AC Milan's Champions League draw with Real Madrid at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, he met with the presidents of the two clubs - Madrid's Florentino Perez and Milan's Adriano Galliani - to discuss the possibility of arranging an exhibition between Betar and either Real or Milan. Aguiar was back in Madrid this week where he met with one of the owners of Brazilian club Flamengo to discuss a possible collaboration with Betar. On Sunday he travelled to Brazil where he was due to meet up with Betar chairman Itzik Kornfein to consider options of bringing in players from South America.


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