Ajax Cape Town might be headed back to the top flight, but their relationship with their mother club in the Netherlands‚ Ajax Amsterdam‚ looks to be over.
This assertion comes after the departure of technical director Hans Vonk and coach Andries Ulderink and in a book on the club written by Dutch journalist Jonathan Ursem‚ Ajax in Afrika, which was published on Wednesday.
Ursem says the departure of the duo — after Vonk had been suspended by Ajax CEO Ari Efstathiou and Ulderink resigned in sympathy — effectively ended the Dutch’s club’s participation in the 21-year project and hastened their plans to sell their 51% share at the end of the season.
The power struggle between the Dutch and local consortia came as Ajax were comfortably placed to win the GladAfrica Championship and head back to the top flight after two seasons in the second tier. The drama threatened to derail their progress but after some hiccups they were seven points clear when the league was suspended on Monday.
But it could be a different club that competes in the Premiership next season‚ sheared of any links with Ajax Amsterdam.
“The relationship [between Amsterdam and Cape Town] is really bad‚” says Ursem. “Amsterdam wanted former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Vonk to run the club and not Efstathiou.
“But Vonk has now left and with him‚ Amsterdam’s grip is gone. They have the majority of the shares but the distance makes it hard for them to control things. They cannot monitor what is happening at the club on a daily basis and now that they’ve lost that control‚ it is expected they will sell their shares at the end of the season.
“The club will remain but not under the Ajax banner‚” Ursem said.
Efstathiou has refused to comment on the departure of Ulderink and Vonk.