‘No chaos, but feisty situation’
Ajax’s supervisory board is not happy with the departure of Edwin van der Sar as the club’s general manager. Chairman Pier Eringa reveals that there was no doubt whatsoever about the former goalkeeper’s performance.
“It is always a sad day when your goalkeeper says he is going to quit,” Eringa said. “We did try to retain him, but his decision was final.”
“We did see that last season didn’t bring what we wanted, but then we still look at how things have gone over the past few years and he did a great job there.”
Rvc chairman Ajax: ‘There was no doubt in our minds about Van der Sar’s performance’
Under Van der Sar, Ajax became champions four times in recent years, won the cup twice and even reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019. This season, Ajax did not progress beyond third place in the premier league.
The rvc now has the task of finding a successor for Van der Sar. The club would like to have people in the board with a past at the club, but whether that necessarily applies to the general manager Eringa left open.
“We are going to work hard in the coming period to get someone with an Ajax background on the board. We are adding someone to the board with an Ajax background. That is what we are going to work on and how that plays out, you will hear in August.”
Whether Jordi Cruijff is an option, Eringa did not elaborate on that either. Cruijff recently left FC Barcelona as sporting director. He worked in the past in Israel with Peter Bosz, who in turn is regularly mentioned as a possible new trainer of the Amsterdammers.
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Van der Sar indicated in a press release earlier in the day that he was “running out of steam” after eleven years on the club’s board. “We have experienced very nice things, but it has also been an incredibly tough period,” he said.
Eringa understands. “I can’t see into his head, but I can imagine him saying he’s tired. It’s very extreme what comes at you.”
There is considerable unrest at Ajax. Last week, the board of directors announced its resignation, technical director Gerry Hamstra left and head scout Henk Veldmate also recently pulled the door shut behind him.
Several trainers, including Michael Reiziger and Gerald Vanenburg, are also leaving after this season and with the first team there has been hassle surrounding the appointment of his successor since Alfred Schreuder was fired. For example, it is still not known whether interim coach John Heitinga will still be at the helm at Ajax next season.
Despite all the perils, Eringa does not want to use the word chaos. “If a journalist says it’s chaos, of course I say it’s not chaos. It is a spicy situation, though. If you add everything up, it’s quite a lot.”
So it is not yet clear which coach will be in front of the group in Amsterdam next year, but according to Eringa, that process will not be disrupted too much by Van der Sar’s departure.
“The management is responsible for getting the trainer started. That process is ongoing and can continue as usual, even if Van der Sar is not there. When it comes to a new trainer then it is an important responsibility for the technical director, the Ajax management board and for the supervisory board.”
Whether Eringa’s designation “new trainer” unconsciously indicates that Heitinga may not stay is not known.