Ajax board chair Pier Eringa resigns moments before Feyenoord match restarts
The supervisory board chair at Ajax, Pier Eringa, announced his resignation as the result of the Amsterdam football club's poor performance since he was handed the reins in mid-March. Ajax finished last season in third place, the team's worst finish in 14 years. Currently, they stand in 14th place with five points on a victory and a pair of draws after four completed matches.
The team was losing 3-0 to Feyenoord in Amsterdam before the match was suspended due to fan unrest on Sunday. Supporters who have been disappointed with the club threw fireworks on the field during the rivalry match, forcing the match to be temporarily halted. After the restart, they threw fireworks on the field again, leading to the suspension of play.
On Wednesday morning, Eringa was asked by the board of directors to resign, sources told newswire ANP. The club has a new board of directors in place since last week, which has the power to dismiss the supervisory board chair.
Ajax kicked off the Eredivisie this year with a 4-1 victory at home over Heracles. It went quickly downhill for the Amsterdam club, which lost 1-0 at home to Go Ahead Eagles, played Excelsior to a 2-2 draw, played Fortuna Sittard to a 0-0 draw, and lost 3-1 at Twente before the mishap against Feyenoord. Ajax did down Ludogorets 4-1 in the away leg of the Europa League playoff, but lost 1-0 at home. Advancing to the group stage, they played Marseille to a 3-3 draw at home.
Eringa's resignation announcement came moments before the Feyenoord match was due to be resumed at 2 p.m. on Wednesday in an empty Johan Cruijff Arena. "Especially when things are not going well, I think you should be there as a supervisor. But I am not deaf to the criticism and not blind to the situation Ajax is currently in. For that reason I have decided to make room for a new chairman," Eringa said.
The team's hardcore F-Side supporters also called for his firing on social media. They were pleased that Sven Mislintat left the team as director of football last week, just days after he was linked to a conflict of interest and questionable practices related to payments for player acquisition. They have also called for four other Ajax officials to leave the club, including Interim CEO Jan van Halst, Chief Sports Officer Maurits Hendriks, and supervisory board members Annette Mosman, and Georgette Schlick.
Eringa's resignation will be effective from October 2, after having been in the role for less than seven months. "I have worked hard for the club. I will continue to follow Ajax as a fan and hope that the sporting performance will soon return to the level desired by Ajax."