Ajax Amsterdam voice displeasure regarding Vonk and Ulderink

Goalkeeper-coach Hans Vonk and Andries Ulderink of Ajax Cape Town, in the stands during the National First Division match against Pretoria University FC at Athlone Stadium on December 5.
Goalkeeper-coach Hans Vonk and Andries Ulderink of Ajax Cape Town, in the stands during the National First Division match against Pretoria University FC at Athlone Stadium on December 5.
Image: Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images

Ajax Cape Town CEO Ari Efstathiou has conceded that majority shareholder Ajax Amsterdam have voiced their displeasure at the suspension of head of youth Hans Vonk and the subsequent exit from the side of Dutch coach Andries Ulderink.

Efstathiou, however, added that he will stick to his guns and follow due process on the matter.

Vonk was suspended last month for unspecified reasons and Ulderink, who led the team to the top of the GladAfrica Championship in their bid to regain their place in the top flight, threatened to resign if the former’s suspension was not lifted.

Efstathiou says he had no choice but to reluctantly accept the coach’s resignation, despite it coming at a critical phase of the season.

“How do you allow an employee to threaten resignation based on another reason?” Efstathiou told TimesLIVE. “Are we acting professionally or emotionally? I had no option but to accept his resignation.

“I tried to convince him not to, but he insisted. It is disruptive. He has done exceptionally well for us, his win record has been fantastic.

“I think we have averaged close to two points per game while he was here and so he has been good for the club. It’s a sad situation.”

Efstathiou has not revealed what the accusation is against Vonk, while the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper has also been tight-lipped on the matter.

“It is about the right thing being done – if he is found to be innocent, so be it. If he is guilty of what he has been accused of … you cannot jump the gun. If that takes a day, week or month, it must take that long. It is the fair thing to do,” Efstathiou said.

The CEO admitted that the whole affair has strained relations with the Amsterdam club and said there have been talks on the matter. 

“My response to them about the Vonk situation was that he is currently under suspension pending an investigation to find out if he is guilty of anything, to see if there is the need to have a disciplinary hearing or not,” the CEO said.

“It is premature to be concerned about it, but he is like any other employee and I would treat any other employee in the same in manner.

“I am not too sure what Amsterdam will do, but at the end of the day, I have got a job as a CEO. Unfortunately if it leads to anything else, I must deal with it. I need to follow procedure.”

The Dutch club has been quoted in the media in the Netherlands confirming their displeasure at events.

“As a major shareholder, we are dissatisfied with recent developments and what has been communicated by Ajax Cape Town,” an Ajax Amsterdam spokesperson was quoted as saying in the Dutch Leeuwarder Courant.

“In our view, Andries Ulderink and Hans Vonk did an excellent job. This can also be seen in the upward trend that has been under way since Ulderink has been head coach and Vonk has been appointed head of football affairs.

“We are talking to the director of Ajax Cape Town and do not find it constructive to go into it more deeply through the media.”  

In the wake of the off-field ructions, the Urban Warriors suffered a further blow on the field, losing against fellow NFD campaigners TS Sporting on penalties in the Nedbank Cup last-32 on Thursday night.


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