Ajax melts trophy for fans

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When a team wins a league title, the standard procedure is to stick the trophy in the club's museum – but Ajax took a slightly different approach this time around.

Ajax claimed a record-extending 35th Eredivisie trophy with an emphatic 4-0 win over Emmen, a victory that meant bitter rival PSV could no longer catch it.

Thousands of Ajax fans defied local coronavirus restrictions to celebrate the success, with police opting against stepping in to avoid violence.

The team and CEO Edwin van der Sar led celebrations on a balcony at the Johan Cruijff Arena as they showed off the trophy to the baying crowd, with Ajax later insisting this was not pre-planned and was a "spontaneous gesture".

While local politicians criticised Ajax's celebrations, it showed the club's connection to the supporters and it has taken that even further.

Ajax posted a video to Twitter showing how the club had its copy of the trophy melted down to create tiny 'champion stars'.

"Piece of victory, piece of history, piece of Ajax. Literally. For you," the video's caption read.

Van der Sar said in a tweet of his own: "To all season ticket holders: XXXV is for you in a special way. We melted our trophy and created a piece of history!"

Ajax says the melting of the shield led to the production of 42,000 of the stars, with each season ticket holder set to receive his or her own share of the trophy.

Van der Sar added in a statement: "This season, we have largely had to play without our fans. Well, without them sitting in the stands, at least.

"Despite this, we have felt their support every week. On the way to the stadium, on social media and in our personal contacts.

"Previously, when we said, 'This title is for you', we were expressing how we were doing it for the fans; however, sharing the trophy is the ultimate proof that we really are. After a turbulent year, we are ensuring our fans feel part of our championship."

Fans have been unable to attend Eredivisie matches for most of 2020-2021 but were allowed to return in reduced numbers last month.


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