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European giants ‘SUSPEND new CEO weeks after taking job from Man Utd legend'

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AJAX CEO Alex Kroes has been suspended with immediate effect after being accused of insider trading.

The football executive was appointed by the Eredivisie giants as Edwin van der Sar’s replacement last summer.

Alex Kroes officially began duties at Ajax last month

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Alex Kroes officially began duties at Ajax last monthCredit: Rex
Kroes replaced former Man Utd keeper Edwin van der Sar

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Kroes replaced former Man Utd keeper Edwin van der SarCredit: AP

Due to his contractual situation with former club AZ Alkmaar, Kroes was not able to begin work in Amsterdam until March 15.

Barely a fortnight later, Ajax decided to suspend Kroes with a view to terminating his contract.

In a statement, they confirmed: “The Supervisory Board of AFC Ajax NV has decided to suspend Alex Kroes, CEO and chairman of the board, with immediate effect and intends to terminate the collaboration permanently.

“This decision was made after the Supervisory Board learned that Kroes purchased over 17,000 shares of Ajax a week before his intended appointment was announced on August 2, 2023.

“The Supervisory Board sought external legal advice, which indicates that he likely engaged in insider trading. Insider trading is a criminal offence.

“His fellow board members will take over Alex Kroes’s duties and responsibilities. Furthermore, Michael van Praag will temporarily assist the board as a delegated commissioner.

“In the short term, an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (EGM) will be held to hear the shareholders about the intended dismissal, as prescribed by the articles of association.

“After that, the Supervisory Board will decide on the dismissal.”

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Chairman of the Ajax board Van Praag, 76, added: “We are deeply dismayed that this has occurred at Ajax, as it is highly detrimental to the club and everyone who holds it dear to them.

“Alex Kroes’s actions are not in line with what Ajax stands for. The timing of his share purchase indicates insider trading.

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“Such a violation of the law cannot be tolerated by a publicly listed company, especially when it involves the CEO.

“After careful consideration, the Supervisory Board has therefore concluded that Alex’s position as a director of Ajax is untenable.

“I want to emphasise that the technical policy will continue with the individuals in place and on the path Ajax was already on with Alex.”

Ajax have endured a turbulent season on and off the pitch.

In October they found themselves in the relegation zone after enduring their worst run of results since 1954.

A number of key staff members paid with their jobs, including former Arsenal scout Sven Mislintat and manager Maurice Steijn.

Mislintat had replaced ex-Gunners winger Marc Overmars as director of football, but was axed after just 129 days following what was deemed to be a poor summer transfer window.

Steijn, 50, signed a three-year deal last June after joining from Sparta Rotterdam

Following just two wins in 11 games in all competitions, however, the Dutchman received his marching orders.

Ajax have since recovered somewhat under Steijn’s successor John van ‘t Schip.

They currently sit fifth in Eredivisie table, having signed England star Jordan Henderson in January.

Jordan Henderson joined Ajax in January

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Jordan Henderson joined Ajax in JanuaryCredit: Getty
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