Local Soccer: Luis Fernandez's Betar move in doubt

Gaydamak says Schum is the coach, de facto and Fernandez may have to stay in France.

Fernandez 298.88 (photo credit: Areil Jerozolimski)
Fernandez 298.88
(photo credit: Areil Jerozolimski)
Betar Jerusalem owner Arcadi Gaydamak has thrown doubt on his plans to bring former coach Luis Fernandez back to the club. Just under two weeks ago the Russian billionaire businessman announced that former French international Fernandez had agreed to rejoin Betar after two years to work alongside current coach Itzhak Schum, although the specific position was not clear. However, on Monday Gaydamak said that Schum is the coach, de facto and Fernandez may have to stay in France to fulfill a contract he has with a French television and radio company. Speaking in characteristically confusing fashion, Gaydamak told reporters at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium, "The name of the manager today is Mr Schum. So Mr Schum, he is the coach, de facto and formalisticaly (sic). I don't see necessity to change him." Regarding Fernadez, Gaydamak continued, "I announced publicly a few weeks ago that he [Fernandez] will come. This announcement I made after speaking to Mr Fernandez. After that I asked Mr Fernandez to come to Israel with his legal advisor to fulfill all the documents. "Till now they didn't come, and I heard rumors, or information, from his lawyer that Mr Fernandez has a contract with a radio and television company and they are not sure that he can break this contract. That is what I heard unofficially. Now I am waiting for the official position." Fernandez spent a tumultuous six months coaching at Betar from December 2005 to May 2006. He had previously coached Paris Saint Germain and last season coached at Real Betis in Spain. Betar Jerusalem kicks off it's league campaign away to Bnei Sakhnin on Sunday, although the game will be played at Maccabi Haifa's Kiryat Eliezer Stadium. The Premier League champion has had a poor preseason. After losing 5-0 at Polish side Wisla Krakow in the Champions Leauge qualifiers, Jerusalem lost 1-0 at Maccabi Netanya in the Toto Cup on Saturday night. Despite the bad form of the team, midfielder Derek Boateng insisted all was good in the camp. "We didn't perform our duty because we wanted to be in Europe and we didn't get there. But now we feel more confidence," he said.