Ajax boss Efstathiou fires ominous warning to beleaguered coach Menzo

L-R) Stanley Menzo (head coach) and Ari Efstathiou (CEO) during the Ajax Cape Town announcement of new coach at Ikamva on October 28, 2016 in Cape Town.
L-R) Stanley Menzo (head coach) and Ari Efstathiou (CEO) during the Ajax Cape Town announcement of new coach at Ikamva on October 28, 2016 in Cape Town.
Image: Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images

Ajax Cape Town are backing embattled coach Stanley Menzo for now‚ but the coach knows that at some stage he has to produce results‚ club CEO Ari Efstathiou has said.

Efstathiou was speaking after Ajax had picked up an away point against equally struggling champions Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday night.

That result did not help Ajax’s cause‚ who slipped from third to second-last with 10 points from 12 games.

“At the moment we’re backing him.

"We’re all aware that any coach who doesn’t get results is going to be on the line‚” Efstathiou said after the game of former Ajax Amsterdam and Netherlands goalkeeper Menzo’s safety in his job.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how much pressure Gavin [Hunt‚ Wits’ coach] is going to be under. But in reality Gavin has proven his mettle.

“The bottom line is he [Menzo] needs to get results. We can’t sit and pretend that he can stay in his job without results.

“So‚ like any other coach‚ he’s got his targets.”

Ajax cannot hire and fire coaches without agreement from parent club Ajax Amsterdam.

“Our shareholders’ agreement has it that the appointment of our head of youth and coach has got to be by mutual agreement‚” Efstathiou said.

“So I wouldn’t say his job is protected – not at all. And they’re all aware of what’s going on and that we’re waiting for results.

“We’re all aware of how valuable this franchise is. We’re spending a lot of money on the academy.

“There’s no way we can afford to lose this franchise so if we have to make any changes at any time we will do that.”

Efstathiou was asked if such an arrangement can make it complicated to fire a coach.

“It’s like any company that’s got a board.

"When it’s a critical decision the management doesn’t have the right to do whatever they need to do.

"They call a board meeting and discuss things‚” he said.

“And we’ve done that for 19 years‚ so we’ve never had an issue.

“Obviously we’ve got to make sure that we portray the picture as it is.

"And they’re more experienced than we are.

“I mean‚ we’ve got Edwin van der Sar and Marc Overmars on our board. They’re experienced people – it’s not something that they don’t know.

“I speak to them basically on a daily basis.

"I phoned them now to tell them we got the point and they’re pleased. They’re coming here in January.

“So yes‚ sometimes it does complicate things but it also prevents that immediate reaction that a lot of clubs do that’s really not right.”

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