Johan Cruyff denies racism accusations as Ajax boardroom turmoil continues

Majid Mohamed

Cruyff1 225x300 Johan Cruyff denies racism accusations as Ajax boardroom turmoil continuesJohan Cruyff has rejected claims he made a racist comment at Edgar Davids amid boardroom struggles at the Dutch giants.

Ajax have had off-field problems since Rik van den Boog was forced to stand down as general director last summer with the return of Cruyff.

Ajax supervisory board member, Steven ten Have, claimed in an interview with Studio Voetbal that Cruyff’s direct comment to Davids was: “You are only on the supervisory board because you’re black.”

Cruyff (pictured) denied the accusations today in his column in De Telegraaf newspaper: “Ajax is a multi-cultural club and we have found that many talented immigrant players quit when they reach puberty. So we wanted to tackle this problem with someone from the same background, who had come through it. And that was Edgar Davids.”

“During one of our fights I pointed that out to him. But it had nothing to do with his skin colour, but all his work within the Supervisory Board.”

Edgar Davids said on his website: “I never said, and I want to emphasise that, that Johan Cruyff was a racist, despite this unfortunate remark on his part.”

“I would also, as said before, make clear that I have deep respect for the soccer player Johan Cruyff.”

Cruyff is involved in a dispute with the four other members of the Ajax supervisory board, (who run the club after the board of directors resigned in protest at Cruyff’s plans) over their appointment last week of Louis van Gaal as club director, which was made behind his back at a meeting which he did not attend.

Cruyff is also unhappy that supervisory board members Edgar Davids, Steven ten Have, Paul Romer and Marjan Olfers do not believe former Ajax player Tscheu La Ling is a suitable candidate for the general director role.

Cruyff claims the actions of the board has caused internal turmoil at the club. Van Gaal had previously told Voetbal International that taking the job was unlikely as long as Cruyff had a role at the club.

Van Gaal’s reluctance to work with Cruyff and the reaction from the Dutch legend at the appointment could mean more internal trouble for Ajax ahead. The supervisory board also appointed Danny Blind as technical director and Martin Sturkenboom as financial director, although all the appointments are subject to approval by the Members’ Council at the club.

The supervisory board and Cruyff have approached the likes of Marco Van Basten, Marc Overmars and Guus Hiddink to fill the general director role without success before Van Gaal was appointed.

In a further twist the current board – Uri Coronel, Joop Krant and Cor van Eijden – have left the club immediately as they announced they would earlier this year. A new interim board will be voted in at the end of the month.

A vote on the supervisory board could take place on December 12 during the club’s AGM if not before at a meeting of the Members’ Council on the 28th November.

Meanwhile in the middle of this chaos at the club are manager Frank de Boer, including assistant Dennis Bergkamp and coach Wim Jonk. The former Ajax players are loyal to Cruyff and in the instance of De Boer, loyal to Van Gaal too.

If Cruyff leaves he could be joined by Bergkamp and Jonk. De Boer has distanced himself from the dispute preferring to focus on his role.

Picture:Getty Images

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  • terence patrick hewett

    All professional sport is trivial, unimportant and uniformly vile.

  • Guest

    “You are only on the supervisory board because you’re black.” NOT a racist remark, it is just a remark and  in the scheme of things very trivial after all he didn’t thrust a knife in to Davids as he was saying it. It’s about time the race relations act was scrapped along with the Stasi Equalities Commission. Most white people are  becoming incensed with imports playing the victim card to secure an advantage or wriggle out of wrong doing. Britain is fast becoming the world’s toilet pan, time to pull the chain get rid of the stains and make a clean start.

  • AFC Ajax

    This is not merely football, it’s about Ajax, a club that are an icon of the Netherlands and have provided a bright future for so many youngsters by making them reach their potential! Don’t bother commenting if you don’t know much about the Dutch context.

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