Tabib declared owner of Hap TA by court

Judge’s decision comes down against Harel; Reds now hope to get back to on-field concerns.

By
July 19, 2011 00:49
2 minute read.
Eli Tabib

Eli Tabib_311. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

The ownership saga at Hapoel Tel Aviv finally came to an end on Monday after Tel Aviv District Court Judge Ruth Ronen declared that Eli Tabib is the lawful owner of the club.

Tabib officially bought a 50 percent stake at Hapoel to join Moni Harel as a co-owner last summer, but it wasn’t long before the two fell out and began to destroy the club from the inside.

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As last season drew to a close, and with neither side willing to budge, it became clear to both Tabib and Harel that the club’s existence would be in danger if things wouldn’t change.

The two-headed monster had to be separated, but as expected, that as well became a never-ending source of friction.

A Buy-Me-Buy-You (BMBY) clause was inserted in the original agreement between the two owners, but neither was wiling to make the initial offer.

The BMBY clause stipulates that after one side makes an offer the other has to decide either to accept it or to buy full control for the same amount.

After spreading rumors that he is looking for an honorable exit, Tabib surprised everyone when he turned down Harel’s low offer of NIS 6 million and chose to seize control of the club.

That should have been the end of the story, but Harel quickly claimed that Tabib hadn’t transferred him the millions as required and appealed to the Tel Aviv District Court.

Attempts at mediating between the two owners were fruitless, but finally the turmoil at the club came to a conclusion on Monday after Ronen approved Tabib’s takeover.

“We didn’t think this story would end any other way,” Tabib’s representative on the board and the likely future chairman Doron Osidon said.

“We have been through a tough period, but I’m happy that this is now all behind us. Now we can focus on what’s best for the club. We have plenty of work to do.”

As well as possibly costing Hapoel the Premier League title last season, the squabbling between Tabib and Harel had also seriously hampered the club’s preparations for the upcoming campaign.

With each owner having to sign off on any financial transaction, Harel refused to cooperate with Tabib’s plans and wouldn’t approve the contracts of coach Dror Kashtan and striker Omer Damari.

However, following Monday’s decision and Harel’s announcement that he will not appeal, Hapoel can finally embark on a new course.

Also Monday, the Jerusalem District Court handed down an injunction on Dan Adler and Adam Levin’s purchase of Betar Jerusalem following a request by former sponsor Guma Aguiar.

Aguiar claims that he should be paid back the four million dollars he gave the club two years ago, according to a clause inserted in the agreement.

However, it is widely expected that the court will reject Aguiar’s request next week as Arkadi Gaydamak transferred the club to Adler and Levin for free.


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