Kiryat Shmona owner Izzy Sheratzky loves the media. He enjoys playing the game, being interviewed, supplying headlines, seeing his name in the press, watching himself on TV and the Internet. He can talk about anything, including his club, which is on track to an amazing championship. Well, it was.
Sheratzky is one of the good guys. A sane philanthropist, and a man who stands by his word more than others. Kiryat Shmona's incredible story is definitely his story. But, in case he forgot, it's not only his.
It's also the story of coach Ran Ben Shimon, and the players who stood up to the challenge this season, such as Shimon Abuhatzira, Elad Gabai, Danny Amos and others. Their Cinderella story made its way to The New York Times, but Sheratzky's rash behavior in the last 48 hours could yet cause the Times to interview him again, in two months, and ask where exactly it all went wrong. If it does all go wrong - it will definitely be his story and his story alone.
Sheratzky's fuse suddenly burned out, something that often happens to personalities of his caliber. They find it hard to deal with people who question their authority, who don't thank them 60 times a minute. They love yes men, people who never tire of singing their praises. Winners such as Ran Ben Shimon could inadvertently steal the show from Sheratzky, and that's just too much for him. So he lashes out.
Sheratzky is the antithesis of Hapoel Petah Tikva's once unfortunate owner Tomer Sinai, but in the last 48 hours one can see the similarities. Sheratzky's recent media outbursts somehow remind one of Sinai's nightmare interview to Haaretz just as his coach Yuval Naim was saving a dismal season and orchestrating an amazing run of wins.
Sinai chose to mix his apparent lack of wisdom with some uncalled for sincerity, and admitted that he was sick and tired of hearing everyone pay tribute to Naim. "What about Tomer Sinai?" he asked. Naim resigned less than 12 hours later, and left Sinai to crash with Hapoel Petah Tikva. What's the difference? Sheratzky is less candid.
No one can have a problem with an owner that wishes to keep his assets, whether they be coaches, players, executives or cleaners. After such a breathtaking season, Sheratzky shouldn't feel any inferiority vis-a-vis the more established teams like Maccabi Haifa - the club Ben Shimon is allegedly thinking of joining next summer.
Sheratzky had no business issuing a public two-week deadline to Ben Shimon to make up his mind, or abusing his intelligence - especially not now, a moment before making history. With all due respect, we're not discussing a brilliant strategist planning for the future, but rather someone who is risking the option of his club's self-destruction for the mere pleasure of standing opposite the mirror and shouting "I'm the boss!" If he persists, he may find himself the boss of a team who could have been champions.
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