When the first edition of the Eredivisie had ended Ajax was in first place with 49 points, 4 points ahead of Fortuna 54 and a goaldifference of only +24. Fortuna 54 played many lucrative friendly matches abroad midweek during the end of the season, which was given as a reason why they dropped so many points during this period. PSV and Feyenoord ended both with 39 points on position 5 and 6. Ajax partly had the championship to thank to a nice series of 8 wins (from which 6 times with 1-0) in the period from February end to April end, of which the last one was a 2-3 away win over Fortuna 54, the nearest competitor.
After having won in the first round at home against Zeeburgia with 6-1 and the second round at home against Stormvogels with 3-2, Ajax lost in the inbetween round with 4-2 at Volendam.
Ajax did not play any european matches.
The lineup that was used most often was: Eddy Pieters Graafland (goalkeeper), Ger van Mourik en Cor Geelhuizen (defense), stopperspil Wim Anderiesen Jr., Ad Visser and Klaas Bakker (midfield) Piet van der Kuil, Rinus Michels, Wim Bleijenberg, Ge van Dijk and Willy Schmidt (attack). Van Dijk was the captain. Luuk Bijker (1) got injured during the first game and was replaced by Cor Geelhuizen, after which Bijker did not appear again. At the end of the season he was entered on the transfer list and moved to BVC Amsterdam. Loek den Edel (18) and a young Sjaak Swart (6) (at the start of the season he turned 18) were regular substitutes for the attack. Piet Ouderland (15) was a multi functional player who could play as defender, midfielder and attacker. And scores twice in one game as a substitute. Bertus Hoogerman (1) and Jan van Drecht (1) both played one match, but for the rest Pieters Graafland was the goalkeeper. Furthermore Frans Postma (5), Henk Elzer (4), Albert Post (1), Jaap van Veen (1) en Arie de Wit Jr. (1) played official matches.
The Austrian Karl Humenberger was the trainer of Ajax during this first season in the Eredivisie. In comparison to current times the role was only that to train and there was little influence on tactice or lineups.
The first Klassieker in the Eredivisie ended in a 7-3 home win for Feyenoord, who led with 5-0 during halftime. Ajax won in the second half of the season with 1-0 from Feyenoord at home, so that the matchpoints will still shared between the two teams evenly.
Ajax added Wim Bleijenberg (VV Rigtersbleek) and Willy Schmidt (Eindhoven) to its squad. Sjaak Swart was promoted to the first team from the youth academy.
On June 5 1957 the section board of the professional soccer section of the Dutch soccer association suspends the Ajax board members Volkers (president), Elzenga (secretary) and Drukker (treasurer) for two years because of the “issue Sal”. The Ajax board announces they will protest against this punishment as they are not aware of having done anything wrong. The “Issue Sal” is about Yugoslavian soccer player Vladimir “Bobo” Sal who first signed a pre contract with Ajax and later wanted to transfer to BVC Amsterdam instead of Ajax. Sal made up a story that he was kidnapped by the Ajax board and was forced to sign a contract. This story has various element of an exciting novel. Later it turned out that Sal made up the whole kidnapping and escapes to Germany, where he disappears without a trace, when Ajax accuses him of perjury. This first in July leads to a temporary lifting of the punishments (until the appeal Ajax started is finished) and few days later the punishment is cancelled completely and a new investigation is started. The fact that the truth became known Ajax has to thank in a large part to former Ajax 1 player Kick Geudeker, who was a journalist at that time. Stoop, who was besides a member of the section board of the section professional soccer of the Dutch soccer association also board member of BVC Amsterdam, and is suspended (on his own request) until the investigation is finished, because the board of BVC Amsterdam is also subject of the new investigation. At the end of July Stoop is arrested for inciting Sal to perjure himself, but it released soon after. After several soccer association meetings a suspension for Stoop is announced that will not allow him to perform any function for the Dutch soccer association until 1960. He is indited in 7 different points, of which one is that he played a role in BVC Amsterdam offering Sal a salary that is higher than allowed at that time by the Dutch soccer association. It is difficult to determine whether Sal is a victim who was coerced by BVC Amsterdam and made some mistakes after the promise of richess, or whether he made things up himself. Sal is also suspended by the FIFA (until January 1, 1960). At the start of 1959 Ajax collaborates to allow an early end of his suspension so that Sal can play for Linzer A.S.K. but it is not clear whether that was successful. Later that year Sal is arrested at the German Dutch border and is sentenced for 6 months due to perjury Looking back it is clear that the Dutch soccer association has not been careful at all as several times they have to take things back. Most strange is now how the Dutch soccer association could have suspended the Ajax board while there was no evidence at all. It was very painful, at first for Ajax, but later for the Dutch soccer association, that they gave this situation with Ajax as an example how things should not be done and that they will act against it strict and swift.
In Het Vrije Volk from March 26 1957 it is announced that Piet Kruiver will play for Ajax the next season, but in the end he choses for a transfer to PSV (as is announced on July 17). Piet Kruiver had signed a precontract with Ajax, but pre-contracts are not recognized by the Dutch soccer association. Ajax starts an arbitration case, but this only confirms that pre-contracts are not officially recognized, and doesn't see any problem in KFC (after first already accepting part of the transfer sum from Ajax) changing its mind and selling to PSV. This is a good example of a situation in which the Dutch soccer association chose to just accept what happened, instead of, even though PSV was not violating the rules, indicating that this was clearly undesired behavior and would work on modifying the rules. When this case is put next to the Bobo Sal case, during which the Dutch soccer association without thinking twice goes beyond their power and punishes Ajax without any evidence, it is clear that there is no real (objective) line in the behavior of the Dutch soccer association. Also it became clear during these early years of professional soccer that PSV was not a club who had any problems with finding the limits of what is allowed when transfering players, something we saw again during the eighties.
In April 1957 Johan Cruijff joined Ajax.
Substitutes and Squad Committee
During an interland match against Belgium Piet van der Kuil refuses to leave the pitch. Substitutes are only allowed if players are injured and Van der Kuil feels well enough to play on, while the squad committee wanted to bring in Dillen. This incident triggers two changes. First some members of the squad committee are removed, and later the whole committee is disbanded and the role of coach is extended to also determine the lineups and tactic. Second this starts the discussion about the substitute regulations. Until then unlimited substitutes are allowed in case there are injuries, which is in practice difficult to check. For the Eredivisie in the next season (1957-58) the regulations change so that only and player and the goalkeeper can be replaced, still only if they are injured. For a very short time there is a restriction that substitutes are only allowed before the 44th minutes, but this is soon removed from the regulations. Only at the start of season 1967-68 the restriction of being injured is removed and the tactical substitutions are officially introduced. At that time the regulations differ between the different soccer associations and for example in the English leagues before season 1965-66 no substitutes are allowed at all. At the start start of season 1969-70 the regulations for the Dutch competition are made the same as the FIFA, namely that besides the goalkeeper two players can be substituted. This has later be changed one more time, before season 1995-96, to the situation we known now, namely that any 3 players can be be substituted (so the restriction that one of them should be the goalkeeper has been removed).