Guma closes in on Betar purchase

Guma closes in on Betar

Guma Aguiar proclaimed himself the new owner of Betar Jerusalem on Tuesday evening, five months after giving the team $4 million as a sponsor. The 32-year-old Brazilian-American told The Jerusalem Post that Russian businessman Arkadi Gaydamak, who has owned Betar for the last four years, agreed to transfer ownership to Aguiar during meetings in Moscow this month. "It feels good to be the new owner of Betar," said Aguiar, who added that he planned to celebrate in Jerusalem on Tuesday night. "Tonight I signed over for the liability of the team. It's all in my hands," he said. Aguiar has been trying to take control of the club since the summer, but has run into legal problems due to debts incurred by Gaydamak while he was directly involved. The Russian left Israel in November 2008 after losing the Jerusalem mayoral election and has yet to return. Despite the jubilant tone of Aguiar's announcement one of his spokesmen denied the deal had been completed. Elie Bennet told the Post that "negotiations are still ongoing."