UEFA fine Ajax €10,000 for inoffensive banner at Manchester City game

Dirty Tackle

UEFA may be utterly feckless when handing out fines for abhorrent racist abuse, but they've certainly shown that they take a hard line against fans who express a calm and rational dislike towards clubs that spend far too much money.

Ajax have been fined €10,000 for what the governing body of football in Europe deemed a "display of a provocative and inappropriate banner" at Eastlands earlier this season. The Guardian reports:

During their Champions League match at home to Manchester City in October, Ajax fans unveiled a banner with the motto "Against Modern Football", beneath a cartoon of a sheik holding a bag embossed with a dollar sign, the image presented as a stop sign with a red line through it.

The banner contains no swearing or antagonistic content, but was obviously a delicate subject for the kind of oil-rich-free-spending clubs that help fill UEFA's coffers in the Champions League (and help make the game less competitive for the clubs that do not have bottomless pockets).

Angry Ajax ultras — known as VAK410 because of the section of the Amsterdam Arena they occupy — also had another banner which read "€80 for the away section is ridiculous," which is exactly the same sentiment conveyed in the banner that Manchester City fans were forced to take down at The Emirates.

This isn't VAK410'sfirst foray into protests "against modern football". During a match against RKC Waalwijk last season, fans put stickers on the match ball and displayed at least one banner that probably deserves a fine...

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