AFC Ajax have parted company with coach Martin Jol by mutual consent on the eve of their final UEFA Champions League Group G match away to AC Milan.
"Ajax and Martin Jol have decided, at the request of Jol and in mutual agreement, to terminate the contract with immediate effect," a club statement said. Jol, who will be replaced on the bench by Frank de Boer for the match at San Siro, felt he was not able to meet the high expectations that followed a successful 2009/10 season.
"With pain in my heart I say goodbye to this beautiful club," said the 54-year-old, who arrived at the Amsterdam ArenA in the 2009 close season. "In the summer of last year we started something together which I would love to have completed. But I came to the conclusion that the expectations after last season were just too high. We cannot meet those expectations and that hurts me. The amount of criticism the club now suffers daily has led to unrest in the organisation and the players."
In his first season, Jol's side came up one point short in the Eredivisie title race with FC Twente but did win the Dutch Cup. They secured a UEFA Champions League group stage berth for the first time since 2005/06 this term but sit third in Group G, four points behind second-placed Milan with one game to play, and are fourth in the championship.
De Boer will take over the reins at least until the winter break. The 40-year-old former Netherlands, Ajax and FC Barcelona defender has been in charge of the club's senior youth team since July 2008 and is also assistant coach to Bert van Marwijk with the Dutch national team.
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