Ajax suspend new CEO Kroes on suspicion of insider trading

April 3 – Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam have suspended their new CEO Alex Kroes on suspicion of insider trading, the club confirmed in a statement on Tuesday. 

Kroes (pictured) arrived in the Dutch capital on March 15, but, compounding a bad season with the dismissals of both manager Maurice Steijn and technical director Sven Mislintat, the club hierarchy announced that they suspended Ajax’s CEO with immediate effect on suspicion he has been involved in insider trading in the club’s shares.

The Dutch club said they learned that Kroes bought over 17,000 shares in Ajax just a week before his intended appointment was announced on August 2, 2023.

Chairman of the supervisory board and former Dutch FA president Michael van Praag said in a statement: “We are deeply dismayed that this has occurred at Ajax, as it is highly detrimental to the club and everyone who holds it dear to them. Alex Kroes’s actions are not in line with what Ajax stands for. The timing of his share purchase indicates insider trading. Such a violation of the law cannot be tolerated by a publicly listed company, especially when it involves the CEO.”

“After careful consideration, the Supervisory Board has therefore concluded that Alex’s position as a director of Ajax is untenable. I want to emphasise that the technical policy will continue with the individuals in place and on the path Ajax was already on with Alex.”

Kroes has denied the allegations and has called on the Dutch financial watchdog to “arrive at an independent judgement.”

In a statement on Linkedin, Kroes wrote: “I have been an Ajax player since I was nine. I have always been involved in the club, as a player and as a member. In my heart and later also through these shares. Shares that I bought out of involvement in the club. Out of confidence in the club. Not to make quick money, but as a positive signal to all stakeholders.

“I have always said in recent times that I want all the attention to be on Ajax, not on Alex. But my moral compass says that I cannot simply accept this decision of the Supervisory Board. I will now independently go to the AFM to present my matter in order to arrive at an independent judgment. All this causes unrest for Ajax and I sincerely regret that. Hopefully, this period will be over soon. From today onwards, with a heavy heart, I will watch from a distance what is happening at Ajax. Ajax must become Ajax again.”

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