Sven Mislintat is about to quit as “director of football” at Ajax Amsterdam. In addition to the major sporting problems, there is an affair about possible conflicts of interest in the transfer of Borna Sosa.
The proud Ajax only have five points in the Eredivisie. After just four games, they are already seven points behind the leading trio PSV Eindhoven, AZ Alkmaar and Twente Enschede.
This is close to humiliation for the club, which must feel it as such to start the Europa League on Thursday (September 21st, 2023) with a game against Olympique Marseille. The Champions League is Ajax’s natural ambition.
Marco van Basten, legend of the club, complained after the recent 1:3 in the league at Twente Enschede: “It’s one big drama. Bad purchases, no standard.”
Rafael van der Vaart is betting that Alex Kroes, Edwin van der Sar’s successor as general director, will sort things out quickly: “I expect that he will say goodbye to Mislintat immediately.”
Affair about the Sosa transfer
Sven Mislintat has been director of the football department at the 36-time champions since May 2023.
In addition to the sporting crisis, Mislintat is now faced with a delicate affair. The Ajax director handled Borna Sosa’s transfer through the consulting agency “AKA Global GmbH”, which, like him, is involved in the company “Matchmetrics GmbH”.
Like Ajax in a message writes, the listed club has therefore begun investigations into a possible violation of corporate governance. Mislinat did not inform the club that “AKA Global” also held shares.
Mislintat, whose employment contract lists his participation in “Matchmetrics”, did not want to comment on the affair when asked by Sportschau.
Former club VfB Stuttgart is a customer of “Matchmetrics”
The Bielefeld-based company “Matchmetrics,” co-founded by Sven Mislintat in 2016, specializes in databases about footballers. A number of clubs use the company’s products for scouting, including VfB Stuttgart, Mislintat and Sosa’s former club.
The agency “AKA Global GmbH” handled the transfer of the Croatian Sosa on the last day of the summer period. One of the managing directors of “AKA Global” is Arthur Beck, brother of the former German national player Andreas Beck. “It was at the last minute. There were many interested parties for Borna, including Aston Villa, Sevilla FC and Eintracht Frankfurt. Then Sven called me and said that the coach really wanted Borna. That’s how the deal came about.”
Convertible loan in summer 2020
The deal from the summer of 2023 has nothing to do with one from August three years earlier. At that time, “AKA Global” granted the company “Matchmetrics” a convertible loan, just like Mislintat, who had previously been a shareholder and “never received a cent from the company,” as a spokesman for “Matchmetrics” told the sports show.
Beck asserts: “The granting of the loan had nothing to do with Sven Mislintat, whom I know and respect. I am simply extremely convinced of the company.”
According to the spokesman for “Matchmetrics”, the loan agreement stipulated that the money granted would be converted into a shareholding at a later date – hence the convertible loan. This happened in September 2022. However, the entry in the publicly accessible commercial register only took place in July 2023, i.e. close to Sosa’s transfer. Since then, Mislintat has held 35 percent of “Matchmetrics” and “AKA Global” three percent.
Transfers between Mislintat and “AKA Global”
Mislintat took up his position as sporting director at VfB on May 1, 2019, after previously working as chief scout at Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal FC. Since his time at VfB, according to the portal “transfermarkt.de”, there has only been one transfer between Mislintat and a client who is firmly advised by “AKA Global” – that of Waldemar Anton in the summer of 2020. Beck’s company was involved in other deals – as is now the case with Sosa – given a temporary mandate.
According to Ajax’s statement, Mislintat wants to “fully cooperate” in clarifying the affair and provide all relevant documents.