06 December 2010
At Martin Jol’s request, Ajax and Jol have reached a mutual agreement to terminate the contract that currently binds them, effective immediately.Based on the discussions which have taken place in recent weeks and days between General Manager Rik van den Boog and Jol, it has become increasingly clear that Jol sees insufficient grounds to successfully continue his partnership with Ajax.
Martin Jol (54) became head coach at Ajax on July 1, 2009. After his first season, 2009-2010, the club finished in second place in the Eredivisie. This earned them the right to participate in the UEFA Champions League qualifying round. On August 25, 2010, he and his team qualified for the pool phase of the UEFA Champions League. Under Jol’s leadership, Ajax won the KNVB Cup on May 6, 2010.
Until the winter break, the technical staff will be led by Frank de Boer. Ajax hopes and expects to be able to announce the technical staff before the year’s end.
Frank de Boer (May 15, 1970) has been Ajax’s A1 coach since July 1, 2008. De Boer is also national team coach Bart van Marwijk’s assistant with the Dutch national team. The former top player began his coaching career with Ajax’s D1.
Martin Jol’s assistants, Cock Jol and Michael Lindeman, leave with him.
General Manager Rik van den Boog reacts to Martin Jol’s departure. “Let me be clear that I respect, and am saddened by, Martin Jol’s leaving. Officially, we’ve been having weekly meetings. But we spoke to each other frequently besides that. Sports performance – wise, things aren’t going as well as they have previously. And the question is can the tide be turned. That’s a hard question to answer. I think that Martin’s been struggling with the situation. Everyone has an opinion about Ajax. His job comes with enormous external pressure, and this pressure has been increasing. But I can’t speak for Martin. I’ll leave it to him to decide what he wants to say about it.”
Van den Boog looks back on Martin Jol’s eighteen months at Ajax fondly. “The fact that this has happened today doesn’t take away from the fact that last season was a fantastic one for us. And after the summer, he was able to bring the team up to the necessary level to reach the Champions League pool phase. That was all very important for us. He developed many players, gave them a face. Many of the games won with him were spectacular, with many goals for and few against.” Van den Boog explains his choice for Frank de Boer: “Why Frank de Boer? Frank will take it on for the coming weeks, in any case. That’s the best solution for now. Frank is a great coach, and he’s available immediately. He’ll travel to Milan tomorrow with Ajax, where we’re hoping to make it through the European winter break.”
The coach himself regrets leaving. “It’s with a heavy heart that I’m leaving this great club. I would have liked to finish what we started last summer. But I’ve realized that the expectations after last season were simply too high. We can’t meet those expectations, and that’s difficult for me. The amount of criticism that the club has had to endure has led to turbulence in the organisation and with the players. I’m expressly doing this before the AC Milan – Ajax game. The coming weeks are critical and I genuinely hope that something shifts in the group, enabling it to become a winning team again in the near future.”