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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gaydamark stays on with Beitar Yerushalayim

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In preparation for Passover, Beitar Yerushalayim's soccer team arrived at Sirkin military base to assist soldiers in packaging holiday boxes for the needy.

Along with the players, coach Roni Levy, and chairman Itzik Kornfein, arrived as well as Beitar owner Arcadi Gaydamak.

Gaydamark remarked that he would be staying on with Beitar Yerushalaim despite rumors. He said he was proud to be a part of Beitar Yerushalayim and he felt the team was 'strong".

Captain of the team, Aviram Broachian, blessed Gaydamark on his recent celebration for his 59th birthday.


Beitar Jerusalem F.C.

Beitar Jerusalem Football club (Hebrew: מועדון כדורגל בית"ר ירושלים‎, Moadon Kaduregel Beitar Yerushalayim) is an Israeli football club from Jerusalem. The club is based at the Teddy Stadium in the Malha neighborhood, and plays in black and yellow. The club has been associated with Right-wing Israeli politics for over 70 years and attracts support from the La Familia Ultras group.

Full name:
Beitar Jerusalem Football Club

The Menorah
The Flag of the State
Lions from the Capital



The club was founded in 1936 by David Horn, the head of the local Betar movement. Most of the clubs players in the early years were from the Betar organisation, and the club was forced to stop playing in 1938 following arrests of Betar members by the British authorities, before resuming activity in 1943 under Horn and Shmuel Kirschstein. More players were arrested in the 1940s, and exiled to Eritrea and Kenya, resulting in the formation of a Beitar Eritrea team. During the internment era, Horn refused to suspend operations again, and renamed it Nordia Jerusalem so as to deny links to the Irgun. Most of the Nordia players nevertheless came from Betar's ranks, including Simon Alfasi.

After independence in 1948, Beitar were played in Liga Bet, then the second tier. In 1953–54 the club won the southern division of Liga Bet, and were promoted to the top division, which had just been renamed Liga Leumit. In their first season in the top flight they finished 11th out of 14, and were forced to participate in promotion/relegation play-offs. Although they were the highest-placed club to take part in the play-offs, they finished bottom of the group, Beitar were relegated back to the second division, now renamed Liga Alef.

In 1957–58 they won Liga Alef, but were not promoted, as there was no promotion or relegation that year. They won Liga Alef again in 1966–68 (a two-year season) and were promoted back to Liga Leumit. After finishing thirteenth in 1968–69, Beitar finished fifth in 1969–70, their best performance to date. Two seasons later they finished as runners-up to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

In 1974, during a match against Hapoel Petah Tikva, Beitar fans invaded the pitch and attacked Petah Tikva players and fans. This caused the first of several "radius" penalties, in which the club was forced to play matches in other cities behind closed doors. Beitar were also due to be relegated, but were saved by the intervention of Knesset members Ehud Olmert and Yossi Sarid, who forced the suspension of the relegation threat and called for an investigation of Israel Football Association corruption. In 1974–75 the club reached the State Cup final for the first time, but lost 3–1 to Hapoel Kfar Saba.[3] In the same season they finished second bottom of the league, and were due to be relegated to Liga Artzit (the new second division). However, an IFA decision to expand the league from 16 to 18 clubs saw them reprieved. The next season they finished runners-up in the league to Hapoel Be'er Sheva and reached the State Cup final again, this time beating Maccabi Tel Aviv 2–1 to claim their first piece of major silverware.

The club finished as runners-up in both 1977–78 and 1978–79, also reaching the cup final in the latter season, winning 2–1 against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Despite the run of success towards the end of the 1970s, Beitar finished bottom of the division in 1979–80, and were relegated to Liga Artzit. However, they made an immediate return to the top division after finishing as runners-up to Beitar Tel Aviv in their first season back in the second tier.

In 1983–84 Beitar went into the last game of the season needing a win or draw to secure the title. However, they lost 1–0 to Hapoel Tel Aviv, allowing Maccabi Haifa to win the league. In 1985 Dror Kashtan took over as manager and Beitar again finished as runners-up to Maccabi Haifa, but prevented Haifa from completing the double by beating them 1–0 in the cup final. They retained the cup in 1985-86, beating Shimshon Tel Aviv 2–1.

Despite having to play all home matches at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, in 1986–87 Beitar claimed their first title, winning the league by a 15-point margin.[2] Kashtan left the club to manage Maccabi Haifa, but returned in 1988. In 1988–89 they won the State Cup again, beating Maccabi Haifa 4–3 on penalties after a 3–3 draw. Kashtan left the club again during 1989.

In 1990–91 they finished second bottom of Liga Leumit, and were relegated to Liga Artzit. Under Lufa Kadosh the club made an immediate return to the top division. Kashtan returned to the club, winning the title in their first season back in Liga Leumit. Kashtan departed for a fourth time, resulting in the appointment of Eli Cohen. The club won the title again in 1996–97 and in 1997–98, by which time Kashtan had returned to the club again.

In 1998–99 Beitar reached the cup final, but lost 3–1 on penalties to Hapoel Tel Aviv after a 1–1 draw. Kashtan was replaced by former player Eli Ohana, under whom the club reached the cup final again the following season, where they lost on penalties to Hapoel Tel Aviv again. At the end of the 1999–2000 season, Ohana was fired and replaced by Eli Guttman. Despite success on the pitch, at the end of the 1990s the club was in severe financial difficulties; chairman Moshe Dadash had sold the club's training grounds and pocketed the money.

After several mid-table finishes, in 2005 the club was bought by Russian-born billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak. He angered some Beitar fans when he donated $400,000 to Bnei Sakhnin in a diplomatic gesture. However, under Gaydamak, the club soon established itself as having the largest budget in Israeli football. Several new players were signed such as Jérôme Leroy, Fabrice Fernandes, David Aganzo and the club eventually signed manager Luis Fernández. Beitar finished third in the league and qualified for the UEFA Cup in 2005–06. Ossie Ardiles was appointed manager at the start of the 2006–07 season, but was sacked after disappointing results in the UEFA Cup. His replacement, Yossi Mizrahi, led the club to the title. In 2007–08 the club won its first double, winning the title by nine points and beating Hapoel Tel Aviv 5–4 on penalties in the cup final after a 0–0 draw. The following season Beitar won the State Cup again, beating Maccabi Haifa 2–1 in the final. In July 2009 Guma Aguiar invested over US$4 million and it was widely expected that he would take over ownership of the club, and indeed claimed to be so in December 2009. This was denied by the Israel Football Association, stating that Gaydamak remains the owner due to his ongoing legal issues complicating the sale of the club.

The Official Website of Beitar Yerushalayim