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Arkady Gaydamak serious 248.88.(Photo by: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Local Soccer: Gaydamak hints at last-minute white knight for Betar
Allon Sinai
07/14/2009
Club chairman Itzik Kornfein had made all the necessary arrangements to place the club into bankruptcy administration on Monday.
Betar Jerusalem's future continues to hang in the balance after another dramatic day ended with more question marks than answers. Club chairman Itzik Kornfein had made all the necessary arrangements to place the club into bankruptcy administration on Monday after failing to find a buyer for Betar and with current owner Arkadi Gaydamak refusing to transfer the funds needed to keep the club running in the coming season. However, after failing in recent days to get hold of Gaydamak, who has been living in Russia in the last few months, Kornfein was called by the oligarch at 9:30 a.m. on Monday. He was told by his boss that a buyer had been found for the club and that he should wait until the weekend to see if the deal, which Gaydamak believes is "99.9 percent done", could be completed. "When I spoke to Arkadi a week ago he told me that he will transfer the club $4 million and asked us to try and cut the budget as much as possible," Kornfien said on Monday in a hastily organized press conference. "However, in recent days it was difficult to get hold of Arkadi as he wasn't feeling very well and was in hospital. Last night his lawyer told us that Gaydamak has decided not to bankroll the club anymore. The only way to keep the club running in such a situation was to place it into administration. "But this morning Arkadi called me and told me that he had found a potential buyer for the club and asked me to give him until the weekend before we place the club into administration." Kornfein admitted he has no clue who the potential buyer is. "Arkadi said there's a good chance the deal will be completed, but as I have no idea who the buyer is I can't say if this is indeed the case," Kornfein said. "Arkadi said that the deal is 99.9 percent done and only a force majeure could prevent it. He asked for a few more days and I think after what he has given the club in the past three-and-a-half seasons he deserves at least that." Netanya to begin Europa League campaign Tuesday Maccabi Netanya will visit Sliema Wanderers of Malta on Tuesday in the first leg of the Europa League's second qualifying round. Netanya will host the return leg next Thursday. Bnei Yehuda will face Dinaburg FC of Latvia at Bloomfield Stadium in the same stage of the competition on Thursday, with the return leg to be played a week later. Hapoel Tel Aviv will start the competition in its third qualifying round.
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