Lost: The troubles at Hapoel Haifa are not just professionalism
The sponsors run into difficulties, players find themselves with bureaucratic procrastination and the veterans team beg for recognition.
Hapoel Haifa fans are leaving the stands, and there are many reasons for this.
The club in response: "The club enhances the viewing experience, the audience in our soul"
Friday, January 14, 2022, 1:00 p.m.
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Before Hapoel Haifa's game against Maccabi Tel Aviv at the end of November, the Red Club expected a record crowd against the background of the Reds' tremendous professional success. It was a critical week, which included a game against the runner-up and after a few days a derby against Maccabi Haifa. In practice, they managed to bring to the stands a little more than 3,000 fans. The noises began to be heard - how is it possible that a glorious club like Hapoel Haifa, which has already proven in the past that it is capable of bringing in a large crowd, fails to attract fans even in good times?
On the face of it, sympathy in Haifa clearly tends to the green side and it is difficult to attract fans.
The low number can also be justified by the establishment of MS Ruby Shapira (which owner Yoav Katz is currently negotiating to acquire), but behind the scenes there are many other reasons related to the management of the club, and those that many believe prevent him from returning to the big days.
Un embracing treatment, to say the least, of sponsors, through ignoring the veteran team, foreign players staying in a hotel instead of an apartment for too long, unanswered player requests, to the mysterious disappearance of the name "Ruby" from the youth team shirts.
This is how Hapoel Haifa shoots itself in the foot, and continues to run in stark contrast to the big club it can be.
More on Walla!
Yoav Katz is in talks to acquire the MS group of fans.
To the full article
Fans have good reasons not to come.
Hapoel Haifa (Photo: Maor Elkelsi)
Over the years, the management at Hapoel Haifa has received criticism, but above all possible stage, the family in Kiryat Haim was mentioned. People like Ephraim Gabay and Ron Feldheim were part of the club's DNA. Afterwards, Oren Sterling, who is currently on forced leave, became CEO who is very close to the players and sponsors. Along with reviews of the management, the feeling was that players and sponsors of small to medium size want to come to Haifa, but the following story This one was hurt.
At the start of the season a prominent secondary sponsor signed a sponsorship deal with the club, making him one of the club's main sponsors. Even before signing with Hapoel Haifa, the same company received a tempting offer from Hapoel Jerusalem to serve as its sponsor, but in the end, after the issue of family and media exposure in Haifa was emphasized, they were persuaded to sign there. The new sponsors thought they were entering a "family", but from the beginning, factors in their environment testify, they were amazed by what was happening, especially around their requests and the respect that was not given to their feelings.
If incidents that occurred at the beginning of the season and caused the astonishment of those sponsors of the conduct passed relatively quietly, several games arrived in which the sponsors were completely broken.
According to sources in their area, in some cases the heads of the company contacted the interim CEO Ruby Regev and other people at the club to get tickets for them and their associates, but in practice the answers were delayed, each time they were withdrawn and in some cases told they could not request the number of tickets. "Should a sponsor who gives a few hundred thousand shekels beg for a ticket?"
"Should a sponsor who gives a few hundred thousand shekels beg for a ticket?"
Katz (Photo: Liron Moldovan)
Not only are the sponsors encountering procrastination this season in handling their requests, but so are the players. Thus, for example, the foreign brakeman Izuchuku Anthony, who signed with the team, asked to find him an apartment and contacted Regev and the club members, but in practice stayed over a month in a hotel. One day, number one of his friends, the brakeman has already made it clear that he is tired of the saga and he thinks that if the situation continues like this he will ask to leave, after he claims all his requests have met with an unsatisfactory answer. Brake was told by a number of players to contact those who are not supposed to deal with the club's affairs at all and those in Haifa who make sure to emphasize that he is on leave - Oren Sterling. Izuchuku, who knew Sterling, who as I recall even signed him at the Garden Hotel, approached him and according to players, after a few days the brake was already in the apartment. In Haifa, for their part, the allegations are not really understood. The team emphasized that the player stayed in a hotel in a quality room and at a cost several times higher than renting an apartment, due to many and varied reasons that all aim to do well with him.
Another stranger who contacted the club members regarding a minor issue regarding internet issues found himself dealing with it for a month, and only after contacting other parties was he able to resolve the issue.
Israeli players who asked Regev for answers and solutions to administrative problems found that this took a very long time, which led to further interference by Sterling, who, as mentioned, was barred from touching the team and was on forced leave due to a complaint by a club volunteer who sexually assaulted her.
This was also the case with tax matters of one of the senior players, an issue that was dragged on for long months and eventually resolved in a short time and in a few phone calls.
"There is no doubt that this year there is a serious procrastination in every request," states one of the club's most senior players. .
Just wanted to get out of the hotel, it took too long.
Izuchuku (Photo: Maor Alexelsi)
If you are looking for more examples of the CEO who is apparently on leave, he is well aware of what is happening at the club, you can actually see this in a discussion held a few weeks ago as part of a lawsuit by former employee Albert Tal-Shir. To see Sterling as a representative. The general manager who is on vacation, when, as you understand, is not really on vacation (and is criticized by other members of the club), came to the court hearing and even negotiated with Tal-Shir representatives on a compromise. "Oren is in business," says a player on the team, "but on a daily basis they do not turn to him and then in the end after rags come to him."
In the case of the veterans group and the youth group, the trend seems to be much broader. A few months ago, Aharon Millard, who has owned the club's veterans group for many years, approached the management and asked to register as Hapoel Haifa with the association and refused. Millard made it clear to his associates that he has nothing to do with CBS Robbie, as the club say to justify the lack of interest in the veterans' team, but even there they know how to tell about a change this year. "It's not enough that the present is not good enough, there is really no connection to the past," states a past player on the team, "once we were called to get subscribers, now to get a ticket you feel you have to beg."
While the veterans' group is not part of the club, the youth department is undergoing a real revolution by Tzachi Nakash, a sponsor who has taken on its rehabilitation.
And yet, the fact that the team called Hapoel Ruby Haifa used to bear his name on the shirt and now does not, causes great anger of the fans, who feel there is a desire to erase the memory of Shapira.
Frustrated players, angry fans.
Hapoel Haifa (Photo: Lilach Weiss)
If Haifa is looking for reasons for encouragement and a trend of change, it could be seen last week, when Ruby Regev physically arrived at the home of Shapira Rachel's widow, and after a cordial conversation gave her five subscriptions and parking tickets to the podium.
Already last Saturday, against Hapoel Tel Aviv, Shapira's grandchildren came to the game and they intend to perform regularly.
"It's definitely exciting and a beautiful move," Shapira's widow admitted, "I get less to the games, but my grandchildren have definitely come and will come and that's important to all of us."
Hapoel Haifa's response: "Old and recycled pike, dozens of subscriptions are distributed to past players"
"This is a recycled, trending article, and full of lies on the verge of delusion, behind anonymous elements whose sole purpose is to harm the club - who heads it and the club's management. It's a shame that a respectable site like Walla
! Ticket prices for the team's home games are the lowest in the league at
only NIS 50 for all games, including top teams. We are the only club in the Premier League that allows free entry for women and children in some of the games, such as the upcoming home game against Maccabi Petah Tikva. The club works to enhance the viewing experience and strengthen the connection with the audience, such as: placing a photo booth magnets, distributing donuts, distributing branded balloons, a personal lunch with the team stars, a fan poll to select a player of the season, a fan tournament and more. As for past players, the club has distributed and distributed dozens of subscriptions to past players who meet the criteria and are in constant contact with them. "
Oren Sterling responded to the article:
"As I have not responded to your requests in the past, I do not intend to deviate from my custom. May we have Shabbat Shalom."