"We will bounce back," says Hapoel owner

Hapoel Tel Aviv, one of Israel's most illustrious football clubs, has been relegated from Ligat Ha'Al.


The club went into administration in December and consequently suffered a nine-point deduction. Hapoel could still have saved itself until Saturday's last game of the season when a 1-1 draw away to Hapoel Ra'anana sealed their fate.

Founded in 1924, the club has been crowned champions 14 times, most recently in 2009/10, and in 2010/11, the club played in the Champions League group stage. Hapoel have only played second tier league football once in its history in 1989/90.

Having taken on the club’s debt at the end of 2016, Club owner Itzik Nisanov has pledged to guide Hapoel straight back up. "I promise the fans that we will build an attractive team that will earn promotion next season,” he said.

“We will only step aside if billionaire owners are found that can put in the kind of money that this club deserves."

If Nisanov makes good on his promise, then Hapoel will return to Ligat Ha'Al for the 2018/2019 season in time for the opening of the 29,000 seat Bloomfield Stadium, which is having its capacity doubled by Tel Aviv Municipality.

Hapoel will continue playing at Petah Tikvah's Moshava Stadium next season.

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