Transfers Kluivert is right! Ajax risk forcing star players away with stubborn policy Peter McVitie 16:00 5/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Transfers Ajax Manchester United Barcelona Eredivisie Opinion The 19-year-old has hit out at the club’s chiefs Edwin van der Sar and Marc Overmars, pointing out some real issues facing the Eredivisie outfit When Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar was asked about the delay in Justin Kluivert’s contract extension on Dutch television earlier this month, he picked a familiar target to blame: Mino Raiola.”I think his agent is pushing him towards the exit,” he said on Ziggo Sport ’s talkshow ‘Rondo’. “We’ve had talks with Kluivert about extending his contract. It’s often not the player, because he is a real Ajax boy. We would really like to keep him, but you have to deal with agents.”A controversial figure, Raiola is known for stirring up disputes between players and clubs to extract either a lucrative contract or a big move for his clients, pocketing a hefty sum along the way. With the pressure on Ajax to keep one of the brightest prospects of a talented group, the chief executive saw the ideal straw man to blame for the hold up and at the same time suggest the issue was really down to a single factor: money. Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Concerns over Kluivert’s future had been building for some time as he approaches the final year of his contract. The blossoming winger has remained ambiguous all season, proudly boasting about the interest from Europe’s top sides he has already attracted while stressing he is in no rush to leave.The continued mystery over his future began to make some nervous, though, as rumours of interest from Manchester United, Tottenham and most recently Manchester City have circulated and the tussle has predictably caused a stir among fans, with some calling Kluivert greedy and insulting his family.But Van der Sar’s diversion towards Raiola will not mask the real problem they have in persuading Kluivert. A tense, tough campaign for last year’s Europa League finalists has left them with a wealth of issues to address in the summer, but the ex-Manchester United star and director of player policy Marc Overmars’ track record raises concerns about the direction taken by those at the top.Taking a stance against the head honchos, Kluivert turned Van der Sar’s argument about Raiola around and went on a verbal attack of his own.“Ajax want me to extend my contract so that they can ask for more money [when they sell],” he told Dutch newspaper Volkskrant . “I was more or less told that I had to sign or else I had to leave… I feel pressured. The most important thing for Ajax is that I extend my contract. Then it’s not about football, but about money.”I want to be the best in the world. Look what’s happening around me, with other players who want to leave or are leaving. It will soon be difficult to get through the preliminary round of the Champions League, and competing at the highest level is important.”Ajax change coaches too easily. They don’t really get a chance. You can see our coach [Erik ten Hag] is not really comfortable. You also saw that with Marcel Keizer before him. That’s what the boys feel. You can see how coaches behave, how they express themselves, even in the press. It feels unstable. We are not really a team. There are different opinions about everything. One time you play one way, then another coach comes in and you play another way. That’s difficult. We never really knew what we wanted from this season.”He also feels burned by the way they handled Tottenham’s attempts to sign him last year , saying they treated his future “like a game” and that the top men “do what they want”.To demand he sign out of loyalty so Ajax can regain money on their investment is to ask more than he owes them. In upping his asking price, Kluivert risks cutting off some options and his ambition to reach the pinnacle of his profession means he must seriously consider where he can progress properly. The likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, David Neres and Donny van de Beek may find themselves wondering the same.Ajax have a strong enough squad to paint a pretty picture for the future, but things have only deteriorated over the last year. Structural issues caused a rift between former boss Peter Bosz and the hierarchy of Van der Sar, Overmars and Dennis Bergkamp. Although Van der Sar stood firm and refused Bosz’s request of having control over his background staff and let him go, the error was acknowledged in a sense months later when successor Marcel Keizer was sacked along with the key coaching staff Bosz had been stuck with, including Bergkamp.By then, Ajax were already behind PSV in the league and had crashed out of both European competitions at the first hurdle, leaving new coach Erik ten Hag with a tough job. Their title challenge ended feebly as they collapsed in a 3-0 defeat to PSV that saw the Eindhoven side win it for the third time in four years.It all raises further questions about the leadership of Van der Sar and Overmars, whose reputations have been battered at times amid the public soap operas they constantly stumble into. With a very talented generation on their hands and Europe’s top sides circling, players are justified in asking if it is the right environment for them in an important stage of their development.Indeed, Kluivert is only the latest player to take direct aim at the decision makers.Goalkeeper Andre Onana, 22, went all out with his criticism after the loss to PSV, saying: “That this happens is not only the fault of the manager, because I know the media will spread negativity about him. Overmars and Van der Sar are equally responsible for making us play shit. It’s the fault of everyone at Ajax, not just that of Ten Hag.”I can stay and try to be champion next season, but if something better comes I’ll be away. I think it’s important to look at my own career, I’m ready for my next step with a new challenge.”Hakim Ziyech, 25, has already made clear he wants to leave after two years with the capital side. Easily the best player in the league in recent seasons, he has grown exasperated by their inconsistency and said he feels he has nothing left to learn in Netherlands. His departure will be a huge one for Ajax that will drum up memories of the hole left by Christian Eriksen’s move that went unfilled until Ziyech’s arrival three years later.Perhaps most worrying has been the apparent change in 18-year-old sensation Matthijs de Ligt, who recently signed a new contract but has, according to De Telegraaf , expressed his desire to leave amid the team’s decline. Ajax also have to deal with interest from Barcelona , Manchester United and Tottenham.Midfield wizard Frenkie de Jong is also said to be considering his options after his first full season of Eredivisie football as Barcelona eye him up, too. The 20-year-old is said to be willing to wait another year before fleeing, but that will hardly offer much relief amid the growing uncertainty.Besides Kluivert, Ziyech and Onana, Ajax are unlikely to let their best prospects go this summer, but the implications for the void between players and the board stretch beyond that.Leaving the Eredivisie at a young age is a risk for any player, so it says a lot about the confusion over the direction Ajax are heading in that such promising ones fear Amsterdam may not be the best place for them.If Van der Sar and Overmars don’t make clear their plan to the protagonists of a potentially glorious era, they might end up chasing them away. Try as he might, Van der Sar can hardly blame Raiola for all of it.
Close to 3,000 people embarked on Elwood Park in Melbourne for a good cause on Sunday, taking part in the 2012 Wine Rules event. 25 teams as well as plenty of spectators attended the event, which raises funds for the St. Mary’s House of Welcome, who support Melbourne’s homeless and disadvantaged. The Brash Higgins team from Adelaide was the highest team fundraiser, followed by the De Bortoli team, raising over $5,000 between them and each gaining two Victorian representative players in their team for the event. There was plenty to do for those who weren’t taking to the field either, with a winning spitting competition, silent auction, bands and a kids area. To view some photos of the day, please visit the Touch Football Victoria Facebook and Twitter pages:www.facebook.com/touchfootballvictoria www.twitter.com/touchfootyvic The third of the charity events, Touch Football Vinnie-Yard, will be played on Saturday, 24 November at Viking Park in Canberra. The event will offer the public a day of wine tasting from local suppliers, plenty of food, children’s entertainment and a social Touch Football competition. There will also be a celebrity match featuring local sports stars and media personalities. The Touch Football Vinnie-Yard event is set to be the first event of its kind held in the ACT region. For more information, please visit the following website:www.vinnieyard.mytouchfooty.com Related Links2012 Wine Rules
ShareTweet ONE in ten of the ‘cash-for-ash’ burners are located across Derry, we can reveal.Out of the 2,128 recipients across the North of Ireland who benefitted from the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, a total of 228 firms were in Derry city and Co Derry post code areas.But those who reaped the rewards from the RHI scheme are not being revealed by DUP Eonoomy Minister Simon Hamilton even though it is public money. ‘CASH-FOR-ASH’ SCANDAL: 228 COMPANIES USING RHI BURNERS ACROSS DERRYcoleraineDerry CitylimavadymagherafeltPSNIRENEWABLE HEAT INCENTIVE SCHEME There are 342 boilers there – about one-in-six of the total.The statistics show the total of 2,128 recipients are split roughly between commercial and farming interests.Around Ballymena and Ballymoney there are 276 boilers.Poultry farmers are heavily represented, accounting for 871 of the installations.The two main clusters are close to Moy Park’s processing plants in Northern Ireland, in Ballymena and Dungannon.Poultry farmers use the boilers to heat chicken houses where the birds are reared.Many switched from LPG gas to biomass in recent years.Other areas where there are significant numbers of boilers by postcode include Armagh which has 112 and Omagh which has 82.Last week, Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said a Moy Park briefing with his officials had raised “issues” about the operation of the RHI scheme.Moy Park later issued a statement but made no reference to those issues.On Monday, the former DETI minister Jonathan Bell claimed under assembly privilege that he had been told DUP special advisers Timothy Johnston and John Robinson had extensive interests in the poultry industry, and that he would not be allowed to reduce the RHI tariff as a result.The DUP later issued a statement of categorical denial on behalf of both men.John Robinson said he had “no personal interest” in the poultry industry. He said two of his brothers were poultry farmers but were not in the RHI.Timothy Johnston said he had “no family connections to the poultry industry”. He said he had two brothers in law in the poultry industry but neither had any connection with the RHI.On Tuesday, Mr Bell said he was prepared to repeat allegations he made about the role played by special advisers in the RHI scheme, to a judge-led inquiry.He was speaking during an an opposition debate in the Assembly calling for a public inquiry into the controversial scheme.He also made further allegations about the RHI scheme – suggesting at least one DUP special adviser might have up to eight boilers. The party said it was an “outrageous claim”.MLAs later voted for a public inquiry to be called into the controversy in a debate where Sinn Féin were absent.The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme was an attempt by the Northern Ireland Executive to help to increase consumption of heat from renewable sources.But flaws in setting the scheme’s subsidy rate left it open to abuse as claimants could earn more cash the more fuel they burned, with the overspend estimated to be about £490m.It has been centre stage in the North’s politics over the past month, with the resignation last Monday of deputy first minister Martin McGuinness.Sinn Féin’s refusal to re-nominate a deputy first minister on Monday left Secretary of State James Brokenshire with no option but to call fresh Assembly elections on 2 March.Former first minister and current DUP leader Arlene Foster set up the scheme in 2012 when she was enterprise minister.However, she has been criticised for not introducing measures to cap payments as was introduced in England.‘CASH-FOR-ASH’ SCANDAL: 228 COMPANIES USING RHI BURNERS ACROSS DERRY was last modified: January 17th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: The PSNI says the Chief Constable is considering a request for detectives to carry out a fraud investigation into the RHI scandal.A breakdown of that figure shows where the recipients of the burners live:67 are in Magherafetl;56 are in Derry city;51 are in Coleraine;33 are in Limavady;20 are in Maghera;and one in Portstewart.However, most companies on the lucrative RHI scheme are based in mid-Ulster and north Antrim, according to information passed to the BBC.A regional breakdown of installations published by the Stephen Nolan Show on Radio Ulster shows the biggest cluster is around Dungannon.