Hapoel Tel Aviv 58.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Hapoel Tel Aviv has thus far managed to successfully overcome the distraction of the wrangling between co-owners Moni Harel and Eli Tabib.
The question is, can it do so for much longer? Tabib officially became the co-owner of Hapoel last summer, with both he and Harel each holding a 50 percent stake in the club.
The money injected into the team by Tabib was crucial for Hapoel’s qualification for the Champions League group stage, but the relationship between the owners quickly deteriorated.
Tabib and Harel fell out at the start of the season and would go on to squabble numerous times on countless subjects.
As a result, salaries at the club haven’t been paid on time and the signing of new players has become extremely complicated, as both owners are required to approve significant expenses.
“I can’t stand the current situation,” Harel wrote to Tabib in a letter published in the media. “If in the past I used to think we could settle our differences, today I no longer think that this is possible. Hapoel Tel Aviv finds itself in an impossible situation.”
Tabib answered with a letter of his own.
“Any friction between the sides is a result of decisions made by Harel,” Tabib wrote.
“Had Harel worked in cooperation with me according to the agreement, the friction could have been avoided.”
The only solution for the unmanageable situation between the owners looks to be the BMBY procedure, which stands for “Buy me buy you;” an economic relationship agreement that will result in either Tabib or Harel acquiring the other’s stake in Hapoel.
For the time being, all the players can do is hope that they get paid on time and try and focus on winning their matches.
Tel Aviv had its six-match winning streak snapped with a 1-1 draw at
Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Monday, leaving it two points back of
league-leader Maccabi Haifa.
Hapoel can return to the top of the standings for at least 24 hours on
Saturday when it hosts Maccabi Netanya, with Maccabi Haifa not visiting
Betar Jerusalem at Teddy Stadium until Sunday night.
Tel Aviv beat Netanya 3-1 on the road earlier this season, a victory which started a fivematch winning streak.
Eli Gutman’s men claimed 11 of 13 contests entering last week’s
encounter at Kiryat Shmona, and despite the setback, will still be a
firm favorite against Netanya, which has won just once in its past five
Maccabi Tel Aviv goes in search of its fourth straight victory on
Saturday when it visits Hapoel Petah Tikva at National Stadium in Ramat
After scoring more than two goals in a match just once in 16 league
games under the guidance of Avi Nimni and Yossi Mizrahi, Maccabi has
found it far easier to find the back of the net since Moti Ivanir took
A 3-1 victory at Bnei Sakhnin in Ivanir’s debut was followed with a 4-1
triumph over Ashdod SC and another big win could be on the cards against
Petah Tikva, which is winless in its last four matches, conceding three
goals in its past three.
“This is yet another important match for us,” Ivanir said. “This is one
of those games which seems easy from the outside, but we will be
treating it as very difficult.”
Kiryat Shmona, which won two successive matches before drawing with
Hapoel Tel Aviv last week, will be confident of remaining in touch with
the top-three with a victory at rock-bottom Hapoel Ramat Gan on
Also Saturday, Hapoel Haifa hosts Hapoel Acre, Maccabi Petah Tikva
visits Ashdod SC, Bnei Yehuda welcomes Hapoel Ashkelon and Hapoel
Beersheba goes up north to face Sakhnin.