Betar take the double

By Simon Griver, May 23, 2008

Betar Jerusalem completed the league and cup double for the first time after claiming a 3-0 home victory over second-placed Maccabi Netanya.

But club owner Arkady Gaydamak, who missed the match because he was in Moscow on business, said that watching his son Alexandre’s team, Portsmouth, lift the FA Cup at Wembley earlier in the day gave him more pride than Betar’s achievement. “From the sporting point of view the FA Cup final is obviously a much bigger event,” said Gaydamak.

Betar will represent Israel in next season’s Champions League qualifying tournament. However, although Gaydamak has previously spoken about building Betar into a major European brand name, he now seems to be distancing himself from the club as he focuses more on promoting his political party Social Justice.

“I already put some $3 million into the club each month,” Gaydamak said. “I will not be increasing the club’s budget or bringing in any major new stars from abroad.”

Last updated: 2:21pm, May 27 2008