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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

Ajax suspend manager Marcel Keizer and club legend Dennis Bergkamp

General manager Edwin van der Sar says he ‘regrets’ the decision.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

AJAX HAVE SUSPENDED boss Marcel Keizer and coaches Hennie Spijkerman and Dennis Bergkamp from active duty.

The four-time European champions appointed head coach Keizer as a replacement for Peter Bosz in June, agreeing terms on a two-year deal with an option for one additional season.

But that contract looks set to be ripped up just six months in after it was confirmed on Thursday that the club had, for the time being at least, relieved Keizer, his assistant Spijkerman and club legend Bergkamp of their roles.

Michael Reiziger and Winston Bogarde, previously respective head and assistant coaches of the club’s youth side, will take temporary charge ahead of Sunday’s home meeting with Willem II.

Ajax, last crowned Eredivisie winners in 2014 under Frank de Boer, lost a two-legged Champions League preliminary tie against Nice before being denied a place in the Europa League – which they were runners-up in under Bosz last term – by Rosenborg in August.

The Amsterdam club sit second in the top flight, five points behind PSV after 17 matches. They have won each of their past three league outings, including victories over the leaders and third-placed AZ Alkmaar, but were eliminated from the KNVB Beker by Twente on Wednesday.

“The club leadership will talk to them about terminating their contracts,” read an official Ajax statement.

“The club management does not have enough confidence that the ambitions of Ajax will be realised with them. The disappointing sporting results are also the reason for this decision.

“With Dennis Bergkamp, ​​there is also a difference of opinion about the technical policy to be implemented.”

General manager Edwin van der Sar added: “We had a bad summer and a messy start of the season. From a sporting point of view, European elimination was the low point.

“In particular, [director of football] Marc Overmars and I have frequently spoken in the months afterwards about the continuing volatility of the first team.

“We are not confident that we will achieve the level that we are striving for with Ajax in this way. I regret this. Together with the supervisory board, we as management…are grateful to Marcel, Dennis and Hennie for their efforts for the club.”

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