Chaos at The Top
The relationship between Eli Tabib and Moni Harel at Hapoel Tel-Aviv after what seemed liked an amicable beginning has quickly deteriorated into a ugly mess that threatens to hurt the club and set it back; however this is merely a reflection of what has occurred in recent years in Israeli football. An example of this can be seen in the rise and fall of Beitar Jerusalem. After owner Arkadi Gaydamak purchased Beitar Jerusalem he poured over 100 million dollars into the club however the club failed to reach the Champions league. He subsequently stopped putting any money into the club at all after he had to deal with several personal affairs including an indictment for money laundering. However Gaydamak for unknown reasons continues hold onto the club even though he puts nothing into it. Beitar just avoided relegation this season, and will face an uphill battle next season to keep its place in the Ligat Ha’al due to lack of funds. Another example of this would be Daniel Jammer of Maccabi Netanya who poured millions into Maccabi Netanya hoping to win a championship in Israel but instead only came in second place and wound up giving up on the club. Israeli football needs owners that are committed to their teams and the grassroots development of football. The IFA needs to implement regulations that would allow them to screen for owners that would be responsible towards their clubs and would ensure the continued growth of their teams and the league. Israeli football is entering a key stage as the number of quality players has dramatically increased over the past few years, this is most notable in the number of Israel players now overseas, whicn now numbers over 20. The IFA needs to seize the opportunity to develop and strengthen the league so that the league can improve. If this fails to happen Israel will become another medium sized European league exporting players to teams and leagues with higher budgets and more prestige.