Sinai says: The right efforts being made for Maccabi's future

Maccabi's decision to set up a scouting department headed by former assistant coach Danny Gutt is an essential step forward.

Allon sinai 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Allon sinai 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Moni Fanan's departure from Maccabi Tel Aviv may have gotten all the publicity on Sunday, but on the same day there was an announcement of at least equal importance at the most successful club in Israeli sports. It may be long overdue, but Maccabi's decision to set up a scouting department headed by former assistant coach Danny Gutt is an essential step forward. Gone are the days when Tel Aviv could outbid Europe's top sides. These days the club's budget is no more than mediocre by Euroleague standards and, without a long term set-up aimed at pinpointing the team's future stars, Maccabi has no chance to continue and build on its former glory. Fanan's contribution to Maccabi over his 16 years as team manager is incalculable. His care for the small details, as well as the larger ones, meant Maccabi players always got whatever they needed, and much more. Tel Aviv's foreign players knew they would be welcomed with an overflowing fridge when they returned from their holidays and, if they ever had trouble getting home after a night of drinking, Fanan was always more than happy to pick them up and make sure they got back safely. Fanan was also an integral part in the building of the roster throughout his years at the club and this is exactly where the problem lay. He helped pick the team's players and coaches as well as picking up their dry cleaning. As long as Maccabi had one of the biggest budgets in the continent the club could afford to rebuild from scratch every season if things didn't go as expected. Tel Aviv's current situation, however, demands a different approach. A successful scouting department means the club's limited resources will be spent well and will ensure the team builds for the future and isn't forced into panic signings after a couple of losses. As a fervent fan of the club, Fanan was haunted by Maccabi's perpetual chase of every title on offer. A loss of a State Cup, not to mention a championship, was nothing short of a tragedy and resulted in an obsession for results in the short term. The long term was never more than an afterthought, which is well illustrated by the fact the team has replaced its coach in each of the last three off-seasons and has overhauled its roster each and every time. Fanan's departure is an earthquake at Maccabi, but after the aftershocks subside the club will finally operate like a professional basketball team in the 21st century. The short term may bring some difficulties, but Sunday's developments have secured Maccabi's future and that is far more important for everyone involved at Yad Eliyahu. [email protected]