Ticked: Sports Events Recap Clip, 6.6 (Sports1)
Hapoel Jerusalem ended the 2022/23 season with a sour feeling, after losing 2-0 in the Premier League play-off semi-final series to Hapoel Tel Aviv. Jerusalemites have been counting for six years without appearing in the playoff finals, but can still define the season as good after winning the State Cup and reaching the final of the FIBA Champions League.Just before Matan Adelson officially takes the reins, outgoing owner Eyal Chomsky held a press conference on Tuesday evening in which he summarized his time at the club and the current season, and also looked forward.
"We found the team with 1,500 fans in Malha, today we average between 6,000 and 7,000 fans per game," Chomsky said of the process the club underwent during his tenure. "Hapoel Jerusalem has made a significant upgrade in the last ten years. We grew in the number of fans, won two championships and three cups. We lost in the Eurocup semi-finals to Valencia and reached the Champions League final. 5,000 fans went to Malaga, it's one of the most exciting moments for the club."
Saying goodbye to the Reds. Chomsky (Photo: Danny Maron)
"This year was very challenging for me," Chomsky said, "At the beginning I took it upon myself to save Hapoel Jerusalem from the situation it found itself in, I took all the financial and professional responsibility. The greatest gift I received this year was getting to know and friendship with an amazing person, coach Aleksandar Dzikic. At the beginning of the year I told you that he is the best coach in the league and he is. He is an amazing and sensitive man, the team is ready to fight for him, it is a great privilege for me to know such a person."
"There was a reconnection with the club this season, the crowd came back after COVID, there was something real here this season. We could have taken a championship, but in sports you don't always control what happens. I'm sure the team will come out strong from losing in the semi-finals as well."
Chomsky admitted that the failure to enter the Euroleague was the worst crisis the club had ever suffered, and singled out the culprits: "At some point we realized that Maccabi Tel Aviv didn't want us to play there. It's been many years, but these things have been said at the highest levels. I tried to explain that if there is competition here like in Greece between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, in Germany between Bayern Munich and Alba Berlin or in Spain between Barcelona and Real Madrid, it will only lift basketball and bring more income to all the teams. I tried, and unfortunately I couldn't. I really hope Matan succeeds in this, and I think if there's anyone who can do it, it's him."
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Now the club is entrusted to Adelson. Chomsky (Photo: Danny Maron)
"I thought the right thing for Hapoel Jerusalem was to hand over the reins to him," Chomsky said of the transfer of ownership to Matan Adelson. In the midst of this situation, I realized that I had to move in order to hand over the reins. I didn't make this decision with emotion, but with my mind."
"I believe in Matan and I feel he is very good for the club. I will always do whatever Hapoel Jerusalem asks of me, and if they need to, I will always be here. I came to the games before I had a role in Hapoel, because this team is my family and it's my whole world. I'll keep coming to the games."
In conclusion, the outgoing owner addressed the problem of violence in Israeli sports in the shadow of the storm of tickets for Hapoel Tel Aviv fans in the final series: "If we don't eradicate the championship, there will be no sports here. Very quickly someone will be killed, a disaster will happen here. I hope Thursday's game ends without some kind of disaster. It rose to too strong emotions. We need an iron hand against everything that has to do with violence."
- Eyal Chomsky
- Hapoel Jerusalem