(photo credit: Courtesy of Yossi Zeliger )
Brazilian-born Jewish energy mogul Guma Aguiar has lashed out at Betar Jerusalem owner Arkadi Gaydamak, telling The Jerusalem Post he is "doing everything he can to prevent the club from going forward."
Aguiar has made it clear that he wants to be involved with the controversial Israeli club in the near future, but is waiting for it to go into bankruptcy before he decides whether to buy it or become a significant sponsor.
However, he told the Post on Sunday that Gaydamak has prevented club chairman Itzik Kornfein from declaring bankruptcy, even though Gaydamak previously announced that he does not intend to put more money into Betar.
"He [Gaydamak] is screwing the team worse and worse," a clearly peeved Aguiar said by telephone from the US. "Everybody knows I'm doing my best to help this team but this a***hole in Moscow is preventing the team going forward."
The situation at Betar Jerusalem has been shrouded with confusion in recent weeks, with Gaydamak apparently in Russia with no intention of returning to Israel any time soon.
Aguiar claimed Gaydamak last week phoned Graydon Oliver, a former professional tennis player who works for Aguiar, and called Aguiar a "jerk" before putting the phone down.
He then phoned Oliver back and told him that he would like to go into partnership with Aguiar.
"He called up screaming 'Who is this jerk Aguiar' and then hung up. He then called back and said he is willing to be partners with me [in Betar Jerusalem] and put in dollar for dollar," Aguiar said.
"I want to make it clear that I want nothing to do with him. I have zero desire to be in partnership with him."
Aguiar is currently in the US fighting a law suit against a group of people including his uncle with whom he was previously in business.
Aguiar stressed that he is willing to negotiate with Gaydamak but "he [Gaydamak] is f**king around with Betar Jerusalem and trying to make me look like an arse."
Illustrating his intentions, Aguiar added: "I'm willing to put my money on the table but I'm not going to lose my money for his [Gaydamak's] stupidity."
Aguiar said he "has a problem with his [Gaydamak's] attitude."
"I'm probably more Russian than he is. I guarantee I can drink more vodka than he can," he said.
Kornfein would not comment explicitly on the bankruptcy situation, which had been expected to begin at the end of the soccer season on June 1.
"Nothing is happening right now. We're just waiting. We have our reasons. Arkadi said what he had to say," Kornfein told the Post.