Ajax investigating technical director’s role in summer transfer

An external inquiry cleared former director of football Sven Mislintat of wrongdoing. Photo: Wikipedia

Eredivisie club Ajax has started an investigation into technical director Sven Mislintat’s role in the purchase of Croatian player Borna Sosa at the end of the summer transfer window.

Broadcaster NOS revealed on Tuesday that Mislintat had a professional connection to Sosa’s agent, Arthur Beck, through Mislintat’s data analysis company, Matchmetrics GmbH.

Beck’s management company, AKA Global, is a shareholder in Matchmetrics, which Mislintat founded four years ago and holds a 35% stake in.

Sosa, a 25-year-old defender playing for German side VfB Stuttgart, had agreed personal terms to join Spanish side Sevilla in the transfer window, but changed his mind and signed a five-year contract with Ajax on deadline day, September 1.

The previous day the player changed his agent from ICM Stellar to AKA Global, which will earn a commission from Ajax for brokering the €8 million transfer.

Sosa has played one match for the Amsterdam club, the 3-1 defeat last weekend by Twente Enschede.

Beck and Kerim Cerit, the partners in AKA Global, backed Matchmetrics with a €161,000 loan during its startup fundraising round, which was later converted to a 3% permanent stake.

Ajax said in a statement it was aware of his ownership of Matchmetrics, but did not know about AKA Global’s holding until it was reported in the media this week.

The club, which is a limited company, has launched an investigation into whether the relationship between Mislintat and Beck breaches stock exchange rules.

Forensic accountant

Mislintat declared his interest in Matchmetrics, which collects information on players from scouting reports and charges clubs and agents for access to its database, when he was appointed as technical director in May, Ajax said.

“Given that a player acquired by Ajax this summer is represented by AKA Global, the club is looking at this further with the assistance of external advisers,” the statement said.

“An independent external inquiry will also be carried out by a forensic accountant. Sven Mislintat has indicated he will offer his full co-operation, including sharing all relevant documentation.”

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