Going into the most recent international break, Ajax sat 16th in the Eredivisie, taking up the relegation play-off spot in the Dutch topflight. A side that just four years ago made it to the cusp of a Champions League final and has boasted some of the best recruitment in Europe over the last decade, Ajax should be relegation-proof in a league they have dominated for large parts of their history.

With just one win and five points from their opening six games, they have endured their worst start to a league season since 1964-65, when they finished 13th, the only time they have finished below 6th since the Eredivisie was founded in 1956. To those who haven’t been following the Amsterdam club closely over the last year, this will have come as a shock, while relations between the club and the fans has hit a low, with their derby against Feyenoord abandoned in September due to hooliganism, after which riot police had to intervene as fans smashed glass doors in an attempt to re-enter the stadium.

So what has led to this point? And who is to blame? On today’s FD Explained, we’re heading to the Johan Cruyff Arena.


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Going into the most recent International Break Ajax was 16th in the aisy taking Up the relegation playoff spot in the Dutch Top Flight aide that just four Years ago made it to the cusp of a Champions League final and has boasted Some of the best recruitments in Europe Over the last decade aax should be Relegation proof in a league they have Dominated for large parts of their History but with just one win and five Points from their opening six games they Have endured their worst start to a League season since 19646 5 that year They finished 13th the only time they Finished below sixth since the aisy was Founded in 1956 for those who haven't been Following the Amsterdam Club closely Over the last year this will have come As a shock while relations between the Club and the fans have hit a low with Their Derby against fire and ORD Abandoned in September due to Hooliganism after which Riot police had To intervene as fans smashed glass doors In an attempt to reenter the stadium so What has led to this point and who is to Blame on today's FD explained we're Going to the Johan C Arena the most Obvious change to have occurred at ax Over the last 18 months is the departure Of head coach Eric ten hog at the end of The 2122 season and in many ways it was

Inevitable with the former utre boss Becoming one of the World's Most Wanted Managers during a 4 and a halfe spell Which yielded three League titles one of Which was achieved with the club's Highest gold tally since 1973 and that Famous run to the Champions League semis In which they defeated Real Madrid who Had won the previous three editions of The competition 4-1 at the burner Bell In the last 16 so when ten hog left for Man United it felt overdue especially Given the vacancies that had previously Opened up at Bayern Munich where he Coached the reserve team in the early 2010s as well as at Barcelona a club That has famously imported coaches and Players from Ajax throughout its modern History however Ajax were not well Prepared for his departure having seen Director of football Mark overmars Resign from his position which he'd held For 10 years after admitting to sending A series of inappropriate messages to Several female colleagues just months Earlier so they not only entered the 2223 season with a new head coach but Also without a figure who had defined a Golden era of recruitment at the club And despite his success overmars didn't Leave behind the most robust system a Recent report by the athletic revealed That rather than employ proper scouting And database management to keep an eye

On players overmars conducted a lot of Work via WhatsApp using his name and Profile as player to open doors rather Than ensure those channels were open to Others at aax in the 3 years up to January 2021 Sebastian Haler Anthony Muhammd kudus Edson Alvarez Leandro Martinez and Duan tadic were all signed While the club posted a 172 million euro Profit in the transfer market the Ability of overmars to sell key players Like Frankie dong Matt ICT and Hakim zek For huge fees coupled with excellent Recruitment of young and undervalued Players from South America and ten hog Superb coaching meant that they were Able to sustain huge success on the Field and on the balance sheet the three Transfer Windows since the pair left Have not been managed anywhere near as Well with recruitment from South America Evaporating entirely almost every key Player sold and their Replacements not Performing to standard for example Owen Vindal and Calvin Bassie signed in 2022 For a combined 33 million e had been Superb at RZ alar and Rangers Respectively but impressed so little in Their first season in Amsterdam that Bassie was sold to Premier League club Fulham at a €500,000 loss and vinal is Now on loan at Royal antp in Belgium Technical director Harry hamstra left After the failure of those signings and

Ten Hog's successor Alfred schroer as ax Finished outside the top two of the era Deisy for the first time since 2009 13 Points behind Champions and Arch Rivals Fire Nord but his Replacements Fen mland Hat who had worked wonders at brusser Dortmund and stutgart but disappointed At Arsenal proved an even bigger Disaster the German recruiter oversaw a Summer window in which the club spent 109 million e the most they have ever Spent between two seasons with five of His 12 signings arriving in the final 12 Days of the window he also agreed to Terminate the contract of Captain du Sadic who scored 105 goals in all Competitions and registered 80 erid Divis assists across Five Seasons after The Ford reportedly grew frustrated with The club's transfer policy and lack of Quality in the squad with Vice Captain Yurian Timber sold to Arsenal Muhammad Kudus and David clarson meanwhile left In the final days of the window with Little to no time to find replacements The result is a squad lacking in Experience and Leadership with only four Outfield players over the age of 25 two Of whom were only signed this summer Youth development has of course been key To ajax's success over the years but it Is still a less than ideal situation for A new head coach to come into and to Make matters worse for the head coach in

Question Morris Stein who was hard off The back of an excellent year-long spell With Sparta Rotterdam he was quickly Undermined by mland hat with Dutch Newspaper day Telegraph reporting that After their poor start of the season the Technical director stormed into the Dressing room and threatened to sack the Head coach who was not present at the Time in front of the players by the end Of September mland hat had been sacked Leaving yet another ominous vacuum at The Johan C arena with CEO Edwin vesar Resigning at the end of last season and His successor Alex Kos not set to start Work until March 2024 it's difficult to Know where accountability Now lies at ax One can only hope that we've already Seen the club at its most toxic so that Was our take on the huge problems Currently facing Ajax but are there any Other clubs you'd like us to see a deep Dive on like this let us know in the Comments below if you enjoyed this video Please give it a like And subscribe to Football daily if you haven't done so Already thanks for watching we'll see You next time

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