Ajax directors resign over dispute with Johan Cruyff

Johann Cruyff
Cruyff wields much influence behind the scenes at Ajax

Ajax's board of directors have quit over a disagreement with club legend Johan Cruyff over how it should be run.

Cruyff returned in February to advise on a range of issues.

According to reports in the Netherlands, chief executive Rik van den Boog is unwilling to implement all of the changes Cruyff has suggested.

The directors resigned en masse on Wednesday, citing the "ongoing turmoil surrounding the club".

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.

The Amsterdam giants have not won the Dutch title since 2004, while their last European success came in the Champions League in 1995.

Cruyff, who helped the club to three European Cup triumphs between 1971 and 1973, has called for head coach Frank de Boer to be given more responsibility and wants former player such as Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk to be offered roles.

The directors, including chairman Uri Coronel, announced their decision to quit at a meeting of the club's council members.

However, they are set to remain in their positions until successors are appointed.

"It is about the importance of Ajax," said Coronel. "We have taken this decision in the interests of the club. Johan Cruyff is not just anyone. He's a demi-god here, or maybe a whole god."

Cruyff was quoted as telling television station AT5: "It's never good for a club when the board resign."

The 63-year-old managed Ajax for three years between 1985 and 1988, before an eight-year stint in charge at Barcelona.