Ajax board cleaned out

Image: Cruyff: Ajax row

Ajax have seen their board of directors resign following a row with club legend Johan Cruyff.

Row with Cruyff leads to directors stepping down

Ajax have seen their board of directors resign following a row with club legend Johan Cruyff over the future direction of the club. Chairman Uri Coronel made the shock announcement that he and his fellow directors would step down at a meeting of the club's council members on Wednesday evening. A statement on the Ajax website confirmed the news, although the directors are set to remain in their positions until successors are appointed. "We are not bigger than Ajax," Coronel was quoted as telling a news conference. "Johan Cruyff is not just anyone. He's a demi-god here, or maybe a whole god." Cruyff, who won three European Cups with Ajax from 1971 to 1973, returned to the club in February to advise on technical, financial and association issues. He met with the club's board last week and advised them organisational and personnel changes were needed if the Amsterdammers were to return to their former glories.

Turmoil

The capital club have not won the Eredivisie title since 2004, while their last European success came in the Champions League in 1995. According to reports, Cruyff called for head coach Frank de Boer to be given a greater responsibility in the running of the club and wanted former players like Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk to be given roles. Club chief executive Rik van den Boog , though, was not willing to implement all of his suggestions. The directors said the ongoing unrest was damaging the club. The statement on the club's official website said: "The directors of Ajax find that the process, and particularly the resulting and ongoing turmoil surrounding the club, is extremely harmful to Ajax." Cruyff was quoted as telling television station AT5: "It's never good for a club when the board resign." Ajax currently lie in third place in the Eredivisie table and were knocked out in the last 16 of the Europa League by Spartak Moscow.

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