Alex Kroes will only start as general manager of Ajax in March. The Amsterdam club previously tried to loose the director from his club AZ, but according to supervisory board chairman Michael van Praag, that failed.
“We would have liked to have him there sooner. To my great incomprehension, AZ has pulled the plug on our discussions,” Van Praag said on Friday after a general meeting of shareholders of the club from Amsterdam. Van Praag tried to loosen Kroes together with Louis van Gaal, advisor to the Ajax supervisory board.
“We made a very normal and obvious proposal. AZ did not want it, so we expressed our disappointment about it,” said Van Praag. Already in August, Ajax announced that it would take over Kroes from AZ, where he belonged to the management.
The 49-year-old Kroes’ contract with AZ contained a non-competition clause, which meant that he was not allowed to work for a competitor for a year. Kroes agreed with AZ to start in the Johan Cruijff ArenA in March, but said he wanted to start earlier. “If I can start tomorrow, I would love to,” he said NOS.
According to AZ director Robert Eenhoorn, there is a possibility that Kroes can start earlier at Ajax, but the director did not want to say how this could be achieved. Jan van Halst will therefore remain Ajax’s interim director until mid-March. Van Halst was appointed as interim director of the Amsterdam team at the beginning of September, after the departure of Edwin van der Sar.
Van Praag officially appointed
On Friday afternoon, Van Praag was officially appointed chairman of the supervisory board of the Amsterdam club, as was previously known. The appointment of Leo van Wijk as a member of the supervisory board also became official. The two appointments fit in with the course that Ajax has taken, with the recruitment of various people with ‘Ajax DNA’.
For example, Van Gaal was roped in as an advisor to the supervisory board, while Danny Blind is also set for a return to Ajax. The 62-year-old Zeeuw has already been nominated to join the Ajax supervisory board on the recommendation of Van Gaal. In addition, John van ‘t Schip was appointed head coach for the rest of this season, succeeding the dismissed Maurice Steijn.
Van ‘t Schip won his first two matches with Ajax, but then lost against Brighton & Hove Albion (0-2) and drew against Almere City (1-1) on Sunday. As a result, Ajax is in twelfth place in the Eredivisie after eleven games.