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Ajax suspend CEO Alex Kroes on suspicion of ‘insider trading’

Ajax have suspended new CEO Alex Kroes with immediate effect on suspicion he has been involved in insider trading in the club’s shares, the club supervisory board said in a statement on Tuesday.

The board said it had learned Kroes had bought more than 17,000 Ajax shares a week before his intended appointment was announced on 2 August of last year.

“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,” said Michael van Praag, chairman of the club’s supervisory board. “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 could not immediately be reached for comment. He told Dutch news agency ANP he would seek a judgment by Dutch financial watchdog AFM, which oversees share trading, on his acquisitions.

Kroes’ suspension is another twist in an already dramatic season for the Dutch record champions, in which they fired their technical director and head coach only a few months after appointing them and briefly found themselves at the bottom of the Eredivisie table for the first ever.

Ajax are currently in fifth place, 28 points behind league leaders PSV Eindhoven, despite spending over €100m (£85m) on new players in the transfer window.

Kroes, 49, a former director at Eredivisie clubs Go Ahead Eagles and AZ Alkmaar, started his job as CEO and chairman of the board at Ajax on March 15.



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