Sun, 21 Jul 2019

Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town confirmed on Sunday that the club will remain in the National First Division (NFD) for the upcoming 2019/2020 season after deciding against purchasing a Premier Soccer League (PSL) status.

The club said that it had been in talks with various clubs to return to the top flight of South African football by purchasing a status, but decided to fight for automatic promotion from the NFD this upcoming season.

"Ajax had to make tough decisions including possibly diverting funds from the youth so we decided to stay and fight it out," the club said.

It is understood that parent club Ajax Amsterdam provide millions of rands each year towards the youth system at the club with billionaire CEO Ari Efstathiou seemingly reluctant to dig into his own pockets.

Efstathiou has long been accused of mismanagement of the club with his motives for remaining as owner questioned and has repeatedly been accused of seeking financial gain instead of developing future stars, for what both Ajax clubs are renowned for.

Sport24 revealed that the Urban Warriors had initially reached an agreement with Free State Stars but saw the deal scuppered by the latter's relegation to the NFD on the last day of the season.

The Cape-based side then entered into talks with cash-strapped Bloemfontein Celtic but any potential deal was complicated by fans threatening protest action against the relocation of the club and also owner Max Tshabalala seeking an exorbitant purchase amount.

Efstathiou was believed to be in a desperate bid to secure top-flight football as he faced the serious threat of Ajax Amsterdam either pulling out of their long-standing partnership or tabling a takeover bid.

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