0 The merchandising strategy is aimed at increasing income, both by increasing sales and improving margins. Emphasis will be placed both on the expansion of the number of distribution channels and the expansion of the number of products that will be offered. Furthermore, subject to the conditions of current contracts, in-house selling of Ajax products will become more important. The strategy towards exploitation of television rights is aimed at direct negotiations. The development of new media concepts (such as 'pay-per-view') will also be monitored constantly. This makes it possible to react adequately if opportunities arise to tap new sources of income. Football Football comprises the following activities: 1. Professional football. 2. Amateur football. 3. Youth training programme. 4. Scouting. 5. Strategy towards players. 6. Supporter management. Professional football The first team plays professional football in the Premier Division, the national cup competition, international cup competitions and plays friendly matches. Ajax is the most successful club in the Netherlands. In total, the first Ajax team has won the league title 27 times, including 19 times since the introduction of professional football in 1954. In 43 seasons of professional football, the Company ended in the top 3 38 times. In the past ten years, including this season, Ajax has won the championship 5 times and was runner-up 3 times. The national cup (the Amstel Cup) has been won 10 times since the start of professional football in the Netherlands. Ajax also lost 4 finals. Ajax is also one of the most successful sides where European cup competitions are concerned. The European Cup has been won 4 times, and the European Cup Winners Cup (currently: Champions League) and the UEFA Cup once each. If the current qualification demands were projected on Ajax's past performance, the club would have been playing in the Champions League 4 out of every 10 years (and possibly 8 years) directly, and additionally would be playing four times in the qualifications. The following table states the number of matches played by Ajax's first team in the various competitions in recent years: 1996/1997 1995/1996 1994/1995 1993/1994 Premier Division 34 34 34 34 Amstel Cup 1234 European competitions 10 11 11 6 Friendties 16 14 13 11 Total 61 61 61 55 Ajax' second eleven is part of the professional football activities of Ajax and serves as a springboard for young talented players to the top. The squad generally consists of players younger than 21 years. The second team also offers first team players who have been injured or are out of form the opportunity to regain or maintain match fitness. The second team plays in the competition for reserve teams. The professional football activities are lead by the Director of Professional Football of Ajax. Next season the second team will take part in the national cup competition as well, as a result of their championship realised on April 27, 1998.


Jaarverslagen Ajax NV (vanaf 1997) | 1998 | | pagina 22