The Israeli Football Association’s Transfer of Rights Committee announced Thursday that Beitar Jerusalem F.C. has asked to cease the transfer of 50% of the club's shares to Emirati businessman and royal family member, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.
According to the committee, the deal was put on hold because the sheikh failed to produce the documents required by the association to complete the deal, including papers attesting to his financial security as well as a certificate of integrity, despite bin Khalifa receiving two extensions to produce the paperwork.
The committee added that despite withdrawing from the deal, “Beitar may submit a new request for the transfer of rights in accordance with regulations."
Issues with the deal first rose when an intelligence company the association hired to scrutinize bin Khalifa’s $ 2.5 billion capital statement found troubling discrepancies between the sheikh’s declared wealth and the tangible assets he has.
Among other things, it turned out that a significant portion of the sheikh's capital includes non-marketable Venezuelan bonds, whose value is significantly lower than the amount bin Khalifa initially declared.
The deal falling through means that the team’s owner, Moshe Hogeg, will now have to deal with the loss of the NIS 300 million (approx. $90 million) that the sheikh pledged to invest in the team.
"After the transfer committee asked for several more documents to complete the deal, club owner Moshe Hogeg planned to fly to Dubai to meet bin Khalifa,” the team said.
“Unfortunately, the skies are still closed and instead of asking for another extension we preferred to withdraw the current request and submit a new request. The reports that the deal fell through are incorrect."