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Ajax claim Swans boss owes £2.5m

Ajax have taken out a newspaper advertisement summoning Swansea manager Michael Laudrup to court, claiming he owes them £2.5 million in unpaid tax bills.

The move has sparked an angry response from the Swans. It has meant Laudrup, who played for Ajax 16 years ago, had to cancel a trip to Holland to watch the youth team and may be unable to attend the pre-season game against Excelsior Maassluis.

Dutch champions Ajax want the dispute to be settled by Laudrup appearing before a magistrate in the Netherlands.

But Swansea director John van Zweden said he was angry about the way in which the issue had been handled, adding: "The entire world knows where Michael Laudrup is. Everyone knows he is the manager of Swansea City.

"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.

"They have advertised that 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."

However, an Ajax spokesman said taking out the advertisement had been the correct course of action, explaining: "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.

"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 taxman."