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May 22, 2019
Remarkable. A good word to summarize Ajax’s season in the Champions League 2018-2019. Beating the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus to reach the semi-finals ended up being incredible chapters on the beautiful story with a last-minute not-so-happy ending. Tottenham, a club that deserves praise for their achievements and overall off-the-pitch management, topped Ajax, a club that deserves even more recognition for their success.
What should be noted about the Amsterdam-based club is that despite being in the Eredivisie, and not having the financial support of the broadcast income from the likes of the Premier League, Bundesliga or LaLiga, managed to put together a competitive and promising squad.
The most recent agreement concerning the Eredivisie’s TV Rights, was when it was acquired by Fox in 2012, on a 12-year deal worth €1 Billion – approximately €4.5 Million per club, per season. The amount is quite a contrast in comparison to the recent report from The Times that the Premier League is on the course to break the £9 Billion mark for the 2019-2022 period.
The Ajax recipe for success seems to be intertwined with its recruitment and player development programmes. From the current squad of 26 players listed on their website, most come from Dutch club’s youth academy or were recruited at a young age and were then developed by Ajax into first-team players. Only nine members of the squad were acquired at a later stage in their careers (over 23 years of age).
Under 21 Recruitment – 9 players
|Frenkie de Jong||19|
Promoted from Youth Academy – 8 players
|Matthijs de Ligt|
|Donny van de Beek|
|Dani de Wit|
Looking back onto the Dutch club’s past seasons, all the way back to 1995 when they’ve last won Europe’s top competition, this has been a trend in their squad. Promote from the youth system or rely on recruitment and positive development of youngsters. And, if not always resulting in trophy wins at a continental level, has ensured the club to be worldwide renowned for their capacity of developing high-profile players.
List of Notable/High Rated players sold by Ajax
|Frenkie de Jong|
|Gregory van der Wiel|
|Rafael van der Vaart|
|Nigel de Jong|
|Andy van der Meyde|
|Edwin van der Sar|
|Ronald de Boer|
|Frank de Boer|
Through confidence on their scouts and coaches from the academy, as well in its footballing philosophy, Ajax has ensured a positive revenue stream through the sale of developed footballers. An excellent example is Frenkie de Jong, who signed from Willem II for a symbolic amount and add-on clause of 10% of any future transfers, and has a move arranged to FC Barcelona for the next season in a deal worth €75 Million.
The effort made on the improvement of de Jong has proven to be extremely profitable for the Dutch champions. As it has been in the past, and surely will be in the future, with the likes of de Ligt, Onana, van de Beek and David Neres all being highly rated in the transfer market gossip for the next transfer window.
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