Johan Cruijff and the Ajax board are heading for a major bust up. The legendary number fourteen, along with Dennis Bergkamp and Ajax coach Frank de Boer, discussed his work party’s reform proposals with the board and the club’s directors on Thursday night but the parties could not come to an agreement, writes the Parool.
According to the club Cruijff wants ‘total control’. The directors aren’t prepared to give him carte blanche on club policy which includes hiring and firing. ‘We don’t want a revolution at Ajax’, general director Rik van den Boog said. He euphemistically branded the meeting’s results ‘a disappointing development’.
Cruijff meanwhile did not mince word when he spoke to public broadcaster NOS: the board’s attitude is ‘incredible, unacceptable and incomprehensible’, he said. He intimated that he will continue his mission to reform the club’s technical policy. ‘If needs must, the board and the directors should step down.’
Van den Boog was not impressed by Cruijff’s remarks. ‘Ajax is a democratic club. In the end the majority rules. But it shouldn’t even come to that. We should all want what is good for the club regardless of private interest.’
Cruijff maintains that this is not a power struggle. ‘We talk about football. That is something we know something about. But perhaps for the top brass it is a power struggle. They know bugger all about football. That is why their policy is never corrected. The directors can do whatever they like. They’re only defending their position. It shouldn’t be like that and it has to change.’
Bergkamp and Jonk were as surprised and indignant at the club’s obstinacy as their great mentor. ‘This is very odd. I’m shocked’, Bergkamp said. ‘We are sticking out our necks for Ajax because we want something better for the club. It’s a pity it has to come to this.’
Jonk was equally dismissive of the club’s attitude: ‘We have been planning for months, helped by some fantastic people who love the club. But I felt the board wasn’t with us. They didn’t trust us.’
Van den Boog: ‘We think Cruijff’s plans are fine and they are a continuation of our present policy. The thing we can’t agree on is the way the plans will be implemented. That is a great pity but the board is certainly going to take Cruijff’s report into account. But without pressure. It shouldn’t be a question of ‘thou shalt’. That’s where it went wrong with Cruijff.’
This is an unofficial translation
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