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Ajax CEO Alex Kroes alleges unjustified ousting by the club’s board

Ajax CEO and executive board director Alex Kroes finds himself embroiled in controversy after being suspended by Ajax for alleged insider trading, a move he perceives as an attempt by the club’s supervisory board to oust him. The suspension came after Kroes purchased 17,000 shares of the publicly traded club just a week before the announcement of his appointment as the new CEO. Insider trading, using undisclosed information for stock trades, is prohibited by European regulations, according to Dutch financial markets regulator AFM.

However, Kroes maintains his innocence and plans to challenge Ajax’s decision, intending to approach the AFM himself. He believes the supervisory board sought his removal due to disagreements over the club’s management. Kroes perceives the situation as a political maneuver, suggesting that the board deliberately orchestrated his suspension, possibly in response to his proposed reforms.

Despite Kroes’s assertions, Ajax stands firm in its decision, asserting that Kroes was aware of his impending appointment when he purchased the shares. The club conducted an extensive investigation, involving legal experts who found compelling evidence suggesting Kroes engaged in insider trading. This led to the unanimous decision to suspend Kroes, as the club could not condone illegal behavior from its leadership.

While tensions between Kroes and the supervisory board are acknowledged, Ajax Chairman Michael van Praag emphasized that Kroes’s suspension was not retaliatory. The club explored options to retain Kroes but ultimately concluded that parting ways was necessary. The decision comes at a critical juncture for Ajax, which faces significant challenges both on and off the field.

One pressing issue is the selection of a new manager for the men’s team, with names of potential candidates circulating. Additionally, Kroes’s recent comments about Ajax’s championship prospects and the team’s underperformance have stirred controversy within the club. With the specter of past scandals involving former club officials looming large, Ajax finds itself navigating turbulent waters as it seeks stability and success on all fronts.

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