Ajax appoints Van Gaal as chief executive

17th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Ajax’s management crisis took a new turn on Wednesday evening when the football club’s supervisory board surprised everyone by announcing the appointment of Louis van Gaal as chief executive. The decision was apparently made without the knowledge of the board’s most prominent member, Johan Cruyff.

The appointment is even more surprising because Johan Cruyff and Louis van Gaal do not see eye to eye. The board met with Van Gaal in Portugal with the backing of the management team. The former trainer agreed to return to his old club in June 2012. “Have they gone mad?”, Cruyff was quoted by Dutch television in a reaction to the news.

Ajax has been in a serious management crisis since Rik van den Boog was forced to stand down as chief executive last summer. His departure came amid a ‘velvet revolution’ launced by Cruyff. The legendary former number 14 wants Ajax management to include more former football stars, like himself. Cruyff joined the board of supervisors, replaced a number of trainers at the club, but has so far failed to solve the crisis.  

Attempts to resolve the management problems by both Cruyff and the other board members have been blocked by both sides.

In an interview with soccer magazine , Cruyff said, “I don’t know what to say. I didn’t know anything about this anyway. I was in Amsterdam on Tuesday. So it is very coincidental that a supervisory board meeting was held the next day all of a sudden. I couldn’t attend.”

The four other supervisory board members have been at loggerheads with Cruyff after he torpedoed an attempt to appoint Marco van Basten as technical director in October. On Wednesday, the club announced the appointment of Danny Blind to the job.

The question remains whether the club is big enough for two football idols. Earlier this month, Van Gaal told he would not be able to work for Ajax as long as Cruyff was there.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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