A potential merger to unite two of Jewish football’s biggest clubs has been abandoned after the London Maccabi Lions Management Committee voted unanimously against joining forces with their Maccabi namesakes, Brady.
The two clubs, who between them have played in Maccabi football for more than 50 years, joined forces in 2002 when they established the Maccabi London Brady Recreational Trust at Rowley Lane.
They did merge in 2012 as a result of both sets of trustees looking to further establish Maccabi London Brady Sports Ground, but the football clubs had always remained as separate entities.
However, there had been ongoing talks between the management of both football clubs over the past 18 months regarding the potential of the two merging, which ultimately led to the Lions Committee voting at last week’s club meeting.
Proposing three potential outcomes – a full merger, a staged merger which would see teams merged at U7’s, 8’s, 9’s and senior level, and no merger, while representatives of the MLB Trust abstained from the vote, the Committee unanimously voted in favour of the final option.
A statement from the Lions’ vice chairman David Hyman said: “The Committee effectively decided that a potential merger with Brady FC was not in the best interests of the club and football in the community generally, for the time being at least.
“The Committee all expressed their very great enthusiasm for the future of Maccabi London Lions but were also keen to ensure that the Brady Maccabi ‘brand’ be retained with their own special and well respected identity within the community. They felt that it was vitally important that the Jewish Community should have a choice and that a merger would offer no clear benefits in this regard.
“Both clubs will continue to have a close relationship and be the main users at Maccabi London Brady at Rowley Lane and the Committee looks forward to exploring ways in which the clubs can work together in the future.”
Focusing more on the future, as opposed to decision of the Lions Committee, Brady chairman Joel Nathan said: “I would have been happy if it would have happened, but am just as happy to see it staying as it is.
“This idea was first mooted between both clubs back in 2002 when the MLB was established, they’ve now decided that this won’t be happening, and that’s it.
“We have 21 football teams at Brady Maccabi and will continue to provide football for the community. We’ll continue to work together [with Lions] and will give Jewish kids a platform to play football, which is the most important thing.