When people think about what is the best run club in the world, most would probably think of Barcelona and they are probably right.
But for me, if you want to be successful and have sustained success, Ajax are the perfect role models. Lets start with the way their team plays. Its quite simply sensational. They work together to win the ball back in numbers, but also keep possession and control of the ball in numbers, with often having three or four players in a relatively tight space to draw the opposition in, play around them, and then pop the ball off into space. Barcelona anyone?? But okay that's all well and good I hear you say, I can think of many teams that play that way, what's so special about the way Ajax do it? Well its because its been a tradition of theirs for years on end, and they make sure all of their teams and age groups play to this way.
Now it may surprise you how little this happens in football. For a team to have prolonged success, this simply has to happen. Look at Real Madrid, they are arguably the biggest club in the world, but when was the last time they won the Champions League? It's due to a lack of continuity, not just the manager in charge, but throughout the way their teams play. Ajax have a footballing legend in charge of their club, who has long been closely associated with them and has a huge say in the way the football club is run. This is vital. Guardiola, Wenger, and Fergie anyone??
I also have huge admiration at how they only buy players who fit into the system, not the other way round, and how little they spend on bringing players in, more focussing on bringing players through the ranks. This is perhaps where they edge ahead over Barcelona in how a football club should be run. Barcelona produce world class youngsters, but they also spend huge amounts of money as well. However, Ajax are able to field a full team of players that have come through their ranks, and some of them are different gravy as well.
Due to the league they are in, when these players become well known they sell them on for huge profit often, bring through another youngster in that position and the cycle goes on. Admirable. All players at Ajax have to be comfortable on the ball, including the goalkeeper. Dutch legend Cruyff has a big part in this tradition, and the work he has done has been magnificent. So if you want to look at the way a club should be run, look no further than Ajax.
Written by BrooksySpurs