Steel tycoon seals £7m deal for Premiere club
ISRAEL Canadian billionaire Alex Shnaider has completed the purchase of Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The JC can also reveal that a Britishbased tycoon, Eduard Shifrin, has also become one of the Israeli outfit’s new owners.
Russian-born Shnaider, who was raised in Israel paid over £7 million for Maccabi.
He has confirmed that the team will be formally owned by the Guernseybased Midland Holding Corporation, which has steel and property investments, and which he jointly owns with Mr Shifrin.
But while Mr Shnaider, 39, Canada’s youngest billionaire, is expected to be unveiled as the new chairman in the coming days, it is unclear whether Mr Shifrin will also have hands-on involvement with the club. Mr Shifrin, 47, who lives in London with his wife and three children, is vice president of the Jewish Federation of Ukraine and has previously invested in a Ukrainian football club. He was placed 59 in the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated wealth of £920 million.
The club’s former owners, Loni Herzikowitz and Ronny Mena, squabbled for more than a week on how the purchase fee for the club should be divid- ed, but well aware that a more generous offer was unlikely to come along, the two Israeli businessmen reached an accommodation.
Mr Shnaider is expected in Tel Aviv before the end of the month for talks with the club’s management and players and he will outline his vision for restoring Maccabi to its former glory.
Maccabi has won 19 league championships, more than any other Israeli team, but only one of them in the past 12 years when Loni Herzikowitz was chairman.
Meanwhile, on the pitch Maccabi’s fortunes also took a turn for the better last weekend with a 2-1 victory over Bnei Yehuda, whom they leapfrogged to move off the bottom two in Israel’s Premiere League. This was only the team’s third league win of the season, and they now lie eighth.