Tabib’s journey to purchase Beitar takes positive turn

Jerusalem District Court approves the transfer of the club to Tabib from Arkadi Gaydamak.

June 21, 2013 03:40
2 minute read.
Eli Tabib

Eli Tabib 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)


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Eli Tabib took a significant step towards finally becoming the new owner of Beitar Jerusalem on Thursday after the Jerusalem District Court approved the transfer of the club to his hands from Arkadi Gaydamak.

Tabib and Gaydamak seemed to be on the verge of completing a deal three weeks ago before the latter caught everyone by surprise for the countless time throughout his eight years at Beitar when he announced that he had agreed to sell at least a 50 percent stake in the club to a group of Russian businessmen headed by Tamarlan (Tamir) Majidof.

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Majidof was behind Beitar’s bizarre mid-season friendly match versus Terek Grozny in the Chechen capital. He also helped complete the loan deals of Dzhabrail Kadiyev and Zaur Sadayev from Grozny to Jerusalem, which shook the club to its foundation after fans vehemently objected to the signing of the Muslim players.

Gaydamak claimed at the time that “it would be irresponsible of me to transfer the club to Eli Tabib,” but after the Majidof deal fell through on Tuesday his representatives backtracked in court on Thursday and told judge Carmi Musak that they have no objection to turning over the ownership to Tabib.

Tabib agreed to cover the club’s debts estimated at NIS 12.5 million for a 75 percent stake of the club, with the remaining 25% to be held by an organization of Beitar fans.

Tabib will now have to overcome one more obstacle before he officially seizes control of Beitar, with the Israel Football Association’s Budget Control Authority still to approve the purchase.

Tabib sold his ownership stake in Hapoel Tel Aviv last year and the Budget Control Authority will have to determine if he has completed a year-long cooling down period as required by the IFA’s regulations.

It will also have to decide if the charges he faces for attacking a minor and disruption of justice relating to an incident outside his home last year during a protest by Hapoel fans doesn’t prohibit him from owning a club.

District Court judge Amnon Straschnov ruled Tabib to be unfit to own a soccer club way back in August 2000 due to his criminal record, but he has since bought and sold Hapoel and the IFA is expected to authorize his purchase of Beitar next week.

In other Israeli soccer news, Maccabi Tel Aviv announced on Thursday that it has agreed terms with French club Stade de Reims for the transfer of last season’s top scorer Eliran Atar.

The 26-year-old led the Premier League with 22 goals to help the club to its first championship in 10 years. Maccabi is set to receive a transfer fee estimated at $1.8 million as well as 10 percent of future sale proceeds.

“It was a very difficult decision for us to accept the offer from Stade de Reims due to Eliran’s contribution to Maccabi during his three seasons at the club,” sports director Jordi Cruyff told the club’s website.

“The substantial improvement Eliran has made over the past 12 months together with his desire to fulfill his dream of playing in a big league made us realize we can’t block what is a very good opportunity for him.”

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