The committee Coronel has taken a critical look at Ajax. ,,It was quite a difficult day”, John Jaakke said. ,,But we are glad that the report has been published.”
It was busier than ever in the press room of the Amsterdam ArenA on Sunday. Everyone was curious about the report of the committee Coronel, that was published earlier in the day. Uri Coronel (chairman of the committee that investigated ten years of policy at Ajax), Ajax chairman John Jaakke and Cor van Eijden (chairman Members' Council) all took their time to answer questions of the media.
The findings of the committee are not mild. The management model has to change: the managing director has to be the figure head of the club, the Board of Governors has to operate more in the background, the relationship with the grassroots (supporters, sponsors and other stakeholders) needs to be improved and Ajax should consider leaving the stock exchange. ,,Going to the stock exchange offers no more added financial value'', said Uri Coronel.
In the technical area the committee advises to choose for a clear model: a strong coach, who also serves as technical director (the 'Van Gaal model') or a strong technical director, who is in charge of the coach and decides all football-technical appointments. The committee thinks the current division of roles too vague.
The media representatives labelled the report as 'very critical'. They wanted to know of John Jaakke which steps are going to be taken. ,,First we have to see what exactly the report says”, the chairman said. ,,Then we are going to see what it all means and finally we have to decide what to do wit the conclusions and recommendations.” The press wanted to know if people will be fired because of the report. There is much criticism in the document of managing director Maarten Fontein. ,,Maarten Fontein is still employed at Ajax'', said Jaakke. ,,Of course talks will be held with the people mentioned in the report. But if we have anything to say about personnel changes, we will do this in the usual way.”
The committee advises the management of Ajax to act quickly. ,,Firstly, there has to be clarity about the coaches model that is going to be used”, said Uri Coronel. ,,That is something that can be decided upon shortly. Also, steps can be taken quickly when it concerns the role of the Board of Governors and Ajax's position on the stock exchange.”
John Jaakke emphasised that Ajax, despite the criticism, still has much to be proud of. ,,Ajax is a fantastic club, with fantastic supporters. Many things are going well at Ajax, other things can and must be improved."