Lars Capiau

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There is a chance that Menno Geelen will temporarily become the new general manager of Ajax, Michael van Praag has indicated. Ajax must appoint a (temporary) chairman of the board within thirty days. Geelen, the current commercial director, may therefore be put forward as interim director.A.D to function.

Alex Kroes' employment with Ajax lasted exactly nineteen days. He was suspended for insider trading. “It is clear to us what we want to do,” says Van Praag in conversation with AT5. “The question is whether the AFM (Financial Markets Authority, ed.) wants to investigate this. If Alex wants that independent investigation from them, be our guest.â€

But there is no question of Kroes returning, even if he is vindicated by the AFM, the chairman of the Supervisory Board emphasizes. “Can that be reversed? No. Then he can say that he has been unfairly dismissed, start proceedings and ask for money.'

“But you know: it is not a playground,” Van Praag judges harshly. “This will take six months to a year, perhaps a year and a half, before the AFM can do anything with it. We can't wait that long because there will be another general director. I had hoped that this wouldn't happen, but the main person responsible is Alex himself.â€

In the meantime, the people of Amsterdam must make every effort on a technical level. “Marijn Beuker and Kelvin de Lang are already having discussions about a new trainer and a new technical director, and they are being helped by Danny Blind and Louis van Gaal. Those are four people who know their trade, so I'm not worried about that at all.'

An interim director will have to be appointed soon. “According to the licensing requirements of the KNVB, we must appoint someone director or chairman of the board within thirty days. So we have to solve that in the coming week,” he quotes Football International Van Praag at a specially arranged press meeting.

Ajax can choose to sound out a temporary director from outside, or to resolve the matter internally. It is not yet known what the people of Amsterdam will decide. “An external interim director could be appointed. If this case takes a very long time, maybe you can decide that.â€

“It is also possible that Menno Geelen will take on that position temporarily. We also discussed this with Menno. But the management only learned about this yesterday. We'll discuss that later. But of course we would prefer to have a new permanent director as soon as possible.'

Van Praag speaks of a 'terribly heavy measure', which is 'terrible' to take, but remains calm. “The most important thing is that I am absolutely not worried,” says the chairman. “I am absolutely convinced that we can do well in the coming transfer period. I don't say anything about which players are coming, I don't know and I don't understand that either. But I am sure that we can handle it well organizationally and in terms of negotiating power.”

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