Louis van Gaal returns to Ajax as board advisor
Louis van Gaal will try to help rescue Ajax from the club’s current crisis situation by becoming an advisor to the supervisory board. The former manager of the men’s national team will not take a seat on the board himself, but will help the club with technical football matters as an external advisor.
Ajax announced the decision on Tuesday after the recent news of supervisory board member Jan van Halst’s impending departure. He will leave the team when his contract as interim CEO expires, the Amsterdam club said.
The 72-year-old Van Gaal said he hopes to help Ajax. "I want to help Ajax. I currently spend a big part of my life in Portugal, and this can be well combined with my role as an external advisor. I am willing to offer my football knowledge to the Supervisory Board, especially when Leo van Wijk and Michael van Praag are appointed. We must find our sportive way back up to the top, and we all have to contribute to that."
During the general shareholders meeting on Friday, November 17, a decision will be made regarding the nominations of Michael van Praag and Leo van Wijk. That will also determine if Van Praag becomes the board chair, as intended. The Ajax Supervisory Board currently consists of Cees van Oevelen, Georgette Schlick and Annette Mosman.
Pier Eringa resigned as the supervisory board chair last week at the request of the board of directors. This happened in the aftermath of the abandoned match against Feyenoord in the Johan Cruijff Arena. Ajax, which has had a very poor start to the season under new coach Maurice Steijn, was 3-0 behind when the match was ended prematurely because fireworks were repeatedly thrown on the field.
Shortly after the abandoned match, the club announced the resignation of Sven Mislintat as football director. The German man had previously been discredited because he did business with a players’ talent agency that also owns shares in a company in which he is also a shareholder.
Van Gaal has a past with the Amsterdam club. He was head coach and technical director. He won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, and coached the Dutch men’s national team to a third place finish in 2014. He returned to coach Oranje, taking them to the World Cup in Qatar last year.
Reporting by ANP