Beersheba’s Barkat latest owner to quit on team

Fan violence cited as reason for leaving.

Hapoel Beersheba was plunged into turmoil on Monday morning after owner Alona Barkat announced that she will be leaving the club at the end of the season.
Barkat made the surprise statement following coach Guy Azuri’s resignation on Sunday after he was driven off the road by disgruntled fans a day earlier.
“After much consideration, I decided that in light of what happened I personally cannot continue at the club,” a downcast Barkat said in a press conference at Beersheba’s Vasermil Stadium on Monday.
“The recent events which resulted in Azuri’s resignation crossed the red line. I respect the fans and their protest, but as soon as it deteriorated to violence I knew I had to make this decision.”
According to Azuri, who filed a police complaint, he was forced onto the hard shoulder by Beersheba fans after Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Ahi Nazareth, with the supporters attempting to assault him before he managed to get away.
“The situation has deteriorated in recent months and there is no value to my investment in the club if my coach gets run off the road and spat at,” said Barkat, who purchased Beersheba in the summer of 2007. “I can not live with this situation. I made my decision and I will not change it.”
Barkat’s announcement came less than 24 hours after Daniel Jammer declared that he will be leaving Maccabi Netanya because of the fans’ ungratefulness.
“Daniel Jammer and Alona Barkat have given tens of millions to theirclubs and are leaving because of extreme violence,” the Israel FootballAssociation wrote in a statement.
“We expect the police to tackle these criminals who are not worthy ofbeing called fans. The IFA calls on Alona Barkat and Daniel Jammer toreconsider their decision in light of their contribution to Israelisoccer.”
In other Israeli soccer news, Hapoel Ramat Gan and Hapoel Petah Tikvadrew 0-0 on Monday night, going home with a single point that doeslittle to help them in their battle against relegation.
Also Monday, Hapoel Ra’anana coach Eli Cohen bid farewell to hisplayers after being sacked for a second time in two weeks. Cohen wasfired two weeks ago, only to be reinstalled as coach later in the day.
However, after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Bnei Yehuda on Saturday andfalling to the bottom of the Premier League standings Ra’anana’smanagement decided to finally dismiss Cohen and replace him for thetime being with youth department manager Ami Vazana.