Comitis’ regret amid Ajax liquidation threats – and Ajax family feud goes on

2012-11-24 21:02

Spat threatens ‘liquidation’ of Cape club

In the aftermath of Ajax Cape Town’s headline-hogging liquidation speculation in the past week, a peeved John Comitis says he regrets the day he involved his brothers-in-law in his football business without an agreement signed between them.

“The idea at the beginning was to have all five of us as one share but there was nothing in writing. Now the whole thing has come back to bite me,” said Comitis who, together with the Efstathiou brothers – Ari, Alexi and Nick – are part of Cape Town Stars, a company that holds 49% of Ajax Cape Town.

Ajax Amsterdam are the majority shareholders with a 51% stake in the Cape Town-based club.

Stars was registered in 1999 as a private company, according to the records of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

Stars is held by Comitis and his sibling George together with the Efstathiou brothers, whom John Comitis says are also all involved in a multimillion-rand shopping mall and a property business together.

The two families’ holding company is Cape Town Spurs Investments.

John Comitis said last week’s public spat, which was triggered by a long-standing family feud, “should not have come out in the media”.

He further said: “There are no grounds for liquidation. It’s just threats, threats, threats. Ari doesn’t understand the mechanics of football. I’m sick and tired of this whole thing because it’s politics and football.”

Ari said: “I don’t want to use the media platform to bring anyone down, I just want to state the facts. “This business doesn’t belong to John. He is a 9.8% shareholder and the 49% (of Ajax) is owned by the Efstathiou family.”

But John hit back and said: “I started the company (Cape Town Stars) with Rob Moore and when he left I was the only director, running the business all by myself. I just brought them on board to make money for doing nothing.”

Ari insisted that “the issue is not so much about the money but (about) issues of corporate governance.

But since John took the R3.5 million (from the PSL commission scheme in 2008), the club is falling apart”.

He accused the Comitis brothers of using the word “liquidation” to get the media attention.

Ari said: “I never mentioned liquidation. Instead, the two liquidation processes we have were brought by John and George on our shopping centre business and Cape Town Stars. He lost the case andwas granted leave to appeal by the Supreme Court in Bloemfontein.”

The Brackenfell, Cape Town-based Fairbridge Mall is about 30 000m² (equal almost five standard-sized football pitches).

John, whose case will be heard next year, said: “I want out of the business.”

Meanwhile, Ari said they were still awaiting a response from Ajax Amsterdam after a request to appoint an independent mediator was sent on Tuesday.

Ari said: “We need to find a solution to this impasse.”

The Dutch Eredivisie giants had said in a statement last week that “the majority shareholder will not permit liquidation of Ajax Cape Town as apparently envisaged by Cape Town Stars”.

Ajax Amsterdam said they had “faith” in Ajax chief executive, George Comitis.


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