Martin Jol has decided to decline the offer to coach in England, and to continue as Ajax’s trainer. He made his decision after meeting with Ajax’s club leadership.
Jol (the Hague, January 16 1956), signed a contract on May 26, 2009, which runs from July 1, 2009 until June 30, 2012. He was coach at the German club HSV at the time. Under Jol’s lead, Ajax won with KNVB Cup and ended the season in second place in the national competition.
He looks back on a hectic week. “I heard of their interest on Thursday evening. Clubs have been asking around during the last little while, but the papers never got wind of anything. So there was actually nothing going on. But that changed on Friday, and especially Saturday, when we landed in Porto with Ajax. I had a few tough days, because it was on my mind.”
“Ajax made it clear immediately that they didn’t want to let me go. On top of that, I really don’t feel like I can leave Ajax right now. I came here last summer to be successful, to build a strong team, and to enjoy myself. And those three elements remain important for the coming season. That’s what I discussed last weekend in Portugal, and again at length in Amsterdam during the last few days.”
“The club leadership and I have the same concerns. It’s no secret that Ajax is in financial difficulty. We suffered millions in losses again in the last fiscal year. But what’s even trickier is that next season, we want to perform at least as well as we did last season. The expectations are still high at Ajax. In the meantime, I’ve lost, among others, Marko Pantelic, Dennis Rommedahl, Kennedy en Gabri, and haven’t gotten anyone in return yet. And there’s uncertainty about whether a few other key players will stay. We’ve been preparing for weeks without the players, who, after a tough season, played through an entire World Cup. They only had one week off before going full speed ahead again for Ajax. On Wednesday, we play against PAOK to qualify for Champions League. At the time, I had immediately rejected offers from other clubs which came in April and May, but this time my manager Mino Raiola had serious discussions with the English delegation.
“I’m glad that these hectic days are over. Together with the club leadership, we’re looking to the future. Our priority right now is Wednesday’s match against PAOK. We want to get stronger. It’s going to be an exciting time for Ajax, both on and off the field. We’re going to do our best to get the team up to the level we need.”
General Manager Rik van den Boog is just as satisfied as Jol with the outcome of the discussions. “It’s been hard on everyone that it lasted an entire week, but the most important thing is the result, and it’s good. Martin is staying with Ajax.”