Photo: Eli Elgarat
Fanan. Hands-on manager
Photo: Eli Elgarat

Former Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball manager commits suicide

Tragedy for Israeli basketball: Figure most identified with Maccabi Tel Aviv in last two decades hangs himself in his home. Ynet learns he owned millions to former players

Israeli basketball world is shocked – Moni Fanan, the man everyone identifies with Maccabi Tel Aviv's basketball team was found dead in his apartment on Monday after hanging himself. A Magen David Adom emergency unit was rushed to the scene and tried to resuscitate Fanan for almost an hour, but was ultimately forced to pronounce him dead. 


Massive police forces and crime scene investigators arrived at Fanan's Ramat Aviv apartment in Tel Aviv in order to collect evidence. Tel Aviv Police Northern District Chief Sigal Bar-Zvi also arrived at the scene and will be briefed on the data.


Police remain uncertain as to the circumstances which led 63-year-old Fanan to kill himself, but Ynet has learned that he had debts amounting to millions of shekels which he owed to former members of the team.


The players had invested money with Fanan, who promised them high returns but failed to deliver the sums.


Maccabi members currently in the United States for a round of games in the NBA received the news with utter shock. The former team manager was survived by his wife, Sharon, and two children, Regev who was a Maccabi player and Liron who recently left the club.


Fanan acted as Maccabi Tel Aviv's basketball team manager for 16 years and retired in the summer of 2008. Having been an avid team fan for years he joined Maccabi in1986 as a member of management and in 1992 assumed the manager's position.

Fanan with Maccabi player Nikola Vujcic (Photo: Eli Elgarat) 


Fanan was a hands-on type of manager: He helped in picking the players, greeted them upon arrival to Israel, met all of their needs, and legend has it he even used to change their light bulbs at 3 am in the morning. Many referred to him as "the players' mum and dad."


He finally retired last year after a long standing dispute with members of the team's management, particularly David Federman and Ra'anan Katz. In recent months he embarked on a new career as an athlete agent and began to work alongside his daughter Liron.


In the press conference last year announcing his retirement from the team he summed up his days with Maccabi: "I did my job faithfully every day, so much so that I forgot I had a personal life and a family, but don't be fooled into thinking I have regrets on the path I chose.


"I got up happy every day knowing that I go to work in a place I love. Together we built a fine team and led it to the top of Israeli and European basketball…I'm a team player and when I didn't get feedback from management I became a subdued person and lost the joy of creation."


Aharon Weisberg contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 10.19.09, 14:09
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