Ajax board resigns
Ajax's board of directors tonight announced their resignation over a disagreement with club legend Johan Cruyff over how it should be run.
The directors, including chairman Uri Coronel, made the announcement this evening at a meeting of the club's council members, a statement on the Ajax website confirmed. "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."
The directors are set to remain in their positions until successors are appointed. 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.
The capital club have not won the Eredivisie title since 2004, while their last European success came in the UEFA 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 www.ajax.nl 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 UEFA Europa League by Spartak Moscow.