Agreement Shaping Up for Tabib to Take Over Beitar Jerusalem From Gaydamal

Contract to be signed today − if outstanding issues can be smoothed over.

Eli Tabib, the controversial former Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team owner, and his lawyer met with representatives of Beitar Jerusalem owner Arcadi Gaydamak and club chairman Itzik Kornfein in Tel Aviv Monday morning to finalize terms for Tabib to take over the ailing club. The official signing of the papers is planned for today in the office of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat − if the sides can sort out a few remaining sticky clauses in the agreement, including Israel Football Association approval of the move, and payment of the players’ April and May wages.

Another thorny issue that has to be smoothed over in the interim 48 hours is Tabib’s status at Hapoel Tel Aviv, where he still holds 50 percent of the shares. He has agreed to cover Beitar Jerusalem’s debts and transfer NIS 1.9 million to the team fans’ association to buy its stake in the club.

If the deal does go through, Tabib will officially become Beitar’s owner on July 1, ending Gaydamak’s eight-year tenure. Former Maccabi Haifa coach Ronny Levy has been mentioned as the leading candidate for the vacant coach’s post, while Hapoel Be’er Sheva’s Aviram Baruchyan and Hapoel Jerusalem’s Itzik Cohen are being mooted as upcoming additions to the roster.

Sharon Bukov