Ajax: 106 Mio euros in the bank, but still no title…
How ’bout this for a team:
Defense consisting of Chivu, Van Damme, Heitinga, Nigel de Jong
MIdfield: Maduro, Sneijder, Van der Vaart (Pienaar on the bench)
Offense: Van der Meyde, Zlatan, Ryan Babel (with Mido and Tom de Mul benched).
I guess you could win a Dutch title with these lads, if you had a half decent goalie. These names all came through Ajax’ youth development or scouting-department. And these lads were all sold off in the last 5 years.
Heitinga (10 million euro, Atlético Madrid), Babel (17,3 million , Liverpool), Sneijder (27 milliion, Real Madrid), De Mul (4 million, Sevilla), Maduro (2 million, Valencia), Van der Vaart (5,1 million, Hamburger SV), De Jong (1,5 million, Hamburger SV), Van Damme (3 million, Southampton), Van der Meyde (12 million, Internazionale), Ibrahimovic (16 million Juventus), Mido (6 million Olympique Marseille) and Chivu (18 million AS Roma). Total revenue for Ajax: 106 milliion euro.
This means that Ajax hasn’t done too badly in their youth development and scouting. No other club can show these results. The criticism may be justified, but the youth development still functions better than all other clubs. All players were sold to bigger and more wealthy English, Spanish and Italian sides.
From a business perspective, this looks great. And Ajax is a business nowadays, so: well done! But, the primary thing remains winning prizes. Fans want to see their club snatch the title every now and then.
Ajax won their last title in 2004 and hasn’t played CL football for three seasons in a row! How is that possible. How can you make 106 mio on great players and only show two national cups in four years as the return in prizes?
The money Ajax made has never been transferred to the pitch. The wrong players were bought for too high prices because these players had contracts at other clubs. That’s not youth development!
Do you want to develop players to sell them with a profit? Or do you develop them to win prizes?
Another proof that treating a football club like a company (Ajax is listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange) can result in a full bank account, but it doesn’t give any guarantees for the full prize-cupboard.
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