Swansea offer Laudrup support in Ajax tax row

Swans director John van Zweden has backed the club's Danish manager after he was summoned to a Netherlands court in an attempt to retrieve a £2.5 million unpaid tax bill
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has received the support of his club's board after becoming embroiled in a tax row with former club Ajax.

The Eredivisie champions are chasing a £2.5 million tax bill from the Dane relating to his time playing for the Netherlands club.

Laudrup, who left Ajax 16 years ago, has been summoned to court after the club took out an advert in a national newspaper, which Swans director John van Zweden has criticised as highly unprofessional.

"I have spoken to Michael at length about his tax issue. He is shocked. Ajax have portrayed him as a criminal, as a tramp without a proper address or place to live," Van Zweden told the Sunday Mirror.

"They have advertised they don't know where Michael Laudrup is and therefore summoned him via a legal advert to appear in court within two months.

"We are taking about the manager of Swansea City. Ajax make out this is a criminal who is hiding and sleeping under bridges next to a river.

"The entire world knows where Michael Laudrup is. Everyone knows he is the manager of Swansea City."

According to reports, Laudrup was forced to abandon plans to watch the club's youth team in Holland and his presence at a pre-season friendly with Eredivisie side Excelsior this summer has also been put in jeopardy.

A spokesperson for Ajax defended the club's actions, insisting that they were just following the normal procedure.

"This is the formal procedure for legal action when the person involved is not living in the Netherlands or does not have a permanent address abroad," they said.

"It is a big debate about gross and net wages, which were paid to Laudrup. We can do nothing else but ask the players from that time to pay us the money back which they should have paid to the tax man."