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Local Soccer: New Maccabi TA owneron his way from Toronto
ALLON SINAI
08/06/2009
Mitchell Goldhar, who was ranked as Canada's 50th richest person last year, is expected to give coach Avi Nimni an extra $1 million to bolster squad.
New Maccabi Tel Aviv owner Mitchell Goldhar is expected to arrive in Israel over the weekend after completing the purchase of the club from Alex Shnaider late Tuesday night. Just a year-and-a-half after spending around NIS 65 million to buy Maccabi, Shnaider, a Russian-born Toronto billionaire, decided to offload the club practically for free to another of Toronto's richest men. The 47-year-old Goldhar will pay the Maccabi Tel Aviv sports federation NIS 2.85 million for its 20-percent stake in the club and got Shnaider's 80% by simply agreeing to take on all of the club's financial commitments. Goldhar owns private shopping mall developer SmartCentres and has a 25% stake in Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust, which has a market capitalization of $1.4 billion. Goldhar, who was ranked as Canada's 50th richest person last year, with a net worth of $1.06 billion, is expected to give coach Avi Nimni an extra $1 million to bolster his squad, with Nimni hoping to bring in a defender, a defensive midfielder and a striker. Shnaider admitted in his final press release that the club requires a complete overhaul. "I purchased Maccabi Tel Aviv with the hope of contributing to Israel and with no ulterior motive," said Shnaider, who spent some $20 million in his 18 months at the club. "I had the honor of contributing to a club with such an illustrious history. However, despite my expectations, I discovered that Maccabi was in a real crisis. Maccabi is a club that needs to be rebuilt from the foundation. "After spending millions of shekels in rescuing the club from financial ruin, and after my investment in the youth department is starting to bear fruit, I feel at ease with my decision to clear the way for anyone who can continue from this point on and return the club to its glory days."
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