One of Israel’s top soccer teams was sold on Monday to businessman and Blockchain entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg, after he agreed to cover the controversial team’s significant debt.
Beitar Trump Jerusalem was purchased for NIS 26.5 million ($7.2 million) from Eli Tabib, who had been the owner since 2013.
Of that sum, NIS 8.5 million will be used by Hogeg to cover the team’s debt.
“I am happy and excited to say the deal has been signed,” Hogeg said Monday. “I have a vision to lead Beitar Jerusalem to a new path. I believe in the team and its abilities and I intend to develop the club and take it to new heights.”
“I am receiving a club which is in a healthy and good state, from a person who cares and loves the team, and I thank him for that,” he added.
Beitar, one of Israel’s top soccer clubs, finished third in the premier league last season.
The club is mostly known for its long history of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment, and is the only club in the Israeli league that has never had an Arab Muslim player. Officials on the team have indicated in the past that it is unofficial policy.
Earlier this year, the club promised to crackdown on racist fans. It also said it would close down the eastern section of its stadium, which is infamous for housing the club’s most rabid fans, including the ultra-nationalist “La-Familia” faction.
Last year, 19 members of the group were charged with attempted murder, including of rival supporters.
In May, the team officially changed its name to “Beitar Trump Jerusalem,” in honor of the US president’s recognition of Israel’s capital and moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv.
Hogeg, 37, is a prominent Tel Aviv-based high-tech entrepreneur who has invested in several tech companies in Israel and abroad. He is the CEO for Singulariteam, a highly active investment fund.
In recent years he has been focusing on investment in crypto-currencies and Blockchain companies in Israel and around the world.