Ajax proud of unique collaboration

Ajax proud of unique collaboration

Ajax are about to collaborate with the Chinese Football Association CFA, Chinese top club Beijing Guoan FC and the Chinese Sate Television (CCTV). All parties signed the letter of intent in the ArenA on Saturday.

Wu Youwen (vice-general manager Beijing Guoan FC), Maarten Fontein (managing director Ajax) and Shu Li (representative CFA) sign the letter of intent.
Wu Youwen (vice-general manager Beijing Guoan FC), Maarten Fontein (managing director Ajax) and Shu Li (representative CFA) sign the letter of intent.

The collaboration will begin on 1 July 2008. After signing the letter of intent, Ajax’s managing director Maarten Fontein and chairman John Jaakke raised the glass with Shu Li (CFA) and Wu Youwen, vice-general manager of Beijing Guoan. With the signing of the letter of intent, a disappointing day ended with a smile. Earlier it became clear that the match against PSV had to be cancelled.

All parties toast in the ArenA to a fruitful collaboration.
All parties toast in the ArenA to a fruitful collaboration.

,,Despite the disappointment about the cancellation of Ajax - PSV, we are very happy that we have signed this letter of intent’’, said Fontein. ,,Especially because this is a unique collaboration. This cannot be compared to other collaborations between clubs.’’ The fact that the Chinese FA is involved, makes it even more special, said Fontein. ,,This is the first time the CFA have agreed to a collaboration with a non-Chinese club.’’

Ajax chairman John Jaakke shows his gratitude for a gift from China.
Ajax chairman John Jaakke shows his gratitude for a gift from China.

With the club from Peking, a partner with vision is chosen; Beijing Guoan FC has a good infrastructure. Ajax and the Chinese realise that it begins with youth to be able to grow. Ajax therefore want to share their own, rich youth program with the Chinese club. For Beijing Guoan FC and the Chinese FA, development programs for players and coaches will be developed. Coaches can be exchanged between the two clubs, and the clubs can play on one another's tournaments. Ajax hope to build something in football-mad China, where there has been professional football for the past ten years. The parties strive to expand their name recognition; which can lead to the expansion of the fan base. Surveys have shown that about a hundred million Chinese are interested in (among others) matches of Ajax.

Fontein shows the Chinese version of the letter of intent. The collaboration has to contribute to the success of Ajax in Amsterdam.
Fontein shows the Chinese version of the letter of intent. The collaboration has to contribute to the success of Ajax in Amsterdam.

It took two years of research to get to the signing of the letter of intent. The content of the collaboration will be defined in the upcoming period. ,,The details of the letter of intent will be worked out in the next few months'', Fontein said.

The shirts of the three collaborating parties: Ajax, the Chinese FA and Beijing Guoan FC.
The shirts of the three collaborating parties: Ajax, the Chinese FA and Beijing Guoan FC.
A toast to the collaboration.
A toast to the collaboration.
Jaakke presents the Chinese delegation an Amsterdam gift.
Jaakke presents the Chinese delegation an Amsterdam gift.
Ajax received from Wu Youwen a kit of Beijing Guoan FC.
Ajax received from Wu Youwen a kit of Beijing Guoan FC.
Ajax and the Chinese delegation are proud of the collaboration.
Ajax and the Chinese delegation are proud of the collaboration.
Jaakke thanks the guests for the many gifts.
Jaakke thanks the guests for the many gifts.