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Lev Leviev announced on Wednesday that he's breaking off takeover negotiations with Hapoel Tel Aviv management and that he will not be purchasing the local soccer giants.
"The Leviev group has decided to stop all discussions concerning its acquisition of Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer club," read the official announcement released by the Leviev group.
Leviev explained that the delay in finalizing the deal had led him to his latest decision.
"The deadline for finalizing the agreement passed a few days ago and the current state of affairs between the owners has prevented me of completing the deal as expected."
The deal was pending the agreement of club director Rafi Agiv who was part of a group which bought Hapoel Tel Aviv in 1997. Agiv refused to sell his share of the club to Leviev and prevented all other share holders of selling their stake to the tycoon.
"At no stage was I involved in the negotiations with Leviev. Regardless the deal had my blessing and I think it's unfortunate that it wasn't completed," was Agiv's response to the latest development.
The surprised Hapoel management released an announcement that said: "In the last couple of months we have made every effort to bring the deal to a successful completion, but unfortunately our efforts have been in vain."
In spite of the collapse of the agreement, the management reassured Hapoel fans that it will continue its backing of the club.
"We will continue to work for the club and help to guide it to its worthy place in Israeli soccer."
Leviev complimented the management's efforts to finalize the agreement and despite abandoning his hopes of owning Hapoel, he wouldn't rule out a future sponsorship deal.
"Out of respect to the Hapoel Tel Aviv management the Leviev group will positively consider any sponsorship request by Hapoel."
This dramatic announcement by Leviev raises many questions concerning Hapoel's immediate future.
Coach Avraham Grant had recently signed a four-year deal to guide the reds from the start of next season, but the latest developments may change things. Grant is currently abroad and has yet to give his response to Leviev's decision.
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