Cape Town – How have Ajax Cape Town gone from being the fastest-rising club in South Africa and competing for the league title to being relegation candidates and on the brink of liquidation?
The answer is obvious, of course, as we have attributed the in-fighting between the board members as the chief reason for the club’s decline over the last two seasons.
Ajax Cape Town left it late in taking all three points from a 1-0 win over Maritzburg United in a Premiership game at the Athlone Stadium. Credit: Gallo Images
But, for me, the answer runs deeper than just that.
Ajax are a well-run machine. They have brought a sense of professionalism to Cape football over the last few years that has been lacking elsewhere.
Every part of that Urban Warriors’ engine knows its role in the workings of the club. They do things properly. Things that get the job done.
But while everybody’s proficient at their jobs, there is also a family environment at the club. There is a sort of warmth when you walk in at Ikamva that makes you feel welcome, comfortable to chat to any member of the staff. I even have my own small Tottenham supporters’ group going at the club.
Ajax are, of course, built on family, being part-owned by two sets of families who are related via marriage.
But now back-stabbing and inflated egos are threatening not only to destroy a family, but also a club that for the last five years have been the envy of most.
It has filtered down into the hallways, and the smiles on the faces of the staff have become a sign of uncertainty and panic.
The players as well are struggling to get going on the field, and it’s a real shame that the sacked Maarten Stekelenburg had to work in such uncertain conditions in his first assignment in charge of a professional team.
Ultimately, it seems that there is no solution to the in-fighting, and that one of the factions will have to leave the club for it to move on. It seems this club is not big enough for all the shareholders.
It’s a real shame that it could be John Comitis, who basically devoted the last decade of his life to building this club up from nothing to where it is today.
I’ll never forget the sadness on “Mr Ajax’s” face when the team lost the league title on the last day of the campaign two seasons ago. The crown would have meant the cherry on top of a project that has brought us the Steven Pienaars and the Thulani Sereros of the world.
Even if the issues are going to be resolved on Saturday, the squabbles are going to leave a deep scar on the face of the club, on the family.
Nothing is ever going to be the same, but with any luck, the Ajax family will pick up the pieces sooner rather than later.
It’s time for the board members to take a hard look in the mirror and do the right thing. If not for the fans, but for the club, for the family. – Cape Times
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
@louisSaha08 (The journeyman striker on THAT goal): Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the best goal ever. Did choose to score that screamer the day he scored 4 against England. Bossssss.
@GeorgeComitis (The Ajax chief reassuring the fans that everything will be alright): Ajax Amsterdam has issued a statement that they will not permit the liquidation of @ajaxcapetown. Its great to have their support.
@seanroberts01 (The Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper is clearly upset about the current in-fighting at the club): Gone are the days when soccer was just a game :(
WHO TO FOLLOW
@GeorgeComitis: Stay abreast of all the latest happenings at Ajax Cape Town.
Follow John Goliath on Twitter: @JohnGoliath82