Ajax has been the epitome of instability over the last decade. Last week’s shocking twist doesn’t point to a quick change. Ajax are set to enter another period of uncertainty, raised eyebrows and variable results.

After Louis van Gaal’s appointment as Ajax’s new CEO last wednesday, a bomb has exploded under the Amsterdam ArenA. It’s not Van Gaal’s (who will start in July 2012) appointment that caused the biggest shock though. It’s the fact that the other four supervisory board members Steven ten Have, Mirjam Olfers, Paul Römer and Edgar Davids appointed the former Ajax coach behind Johan Cruijff’s back. An act of betrayal that wouldn’t be out of place in a Shakespeare play.

It has never been a secret that Johan Cruijff and Louis van Gaal aren’t the best of friends. The latter even said that as long as Johan Cruijff held significant power, there was no chance he would make a return to Amsterdam.

Those close to Cruijff have described the move as a stab in the back. Something you simply don’t do. It’s said that when all this will end in Cruijff leaving the club, they will follow him. Wim Jonk and Keje Molenaar among others.

A 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid in the Champions League started Johan Cruijff’s ‘Velvet Revolution’. With a group of 14 former football players (Frank de Boer, Dennis Bergkamp, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Wim Jonk among others) they came with a plan to reverse the club’s fortunes on the pitch, restore the lost identity of the club and the youth academy and change the way the club operated at boardroom level.

After endless internal fights and threats, peace eventually broke out when the new supervisory board was appointed. Cruijff’s plan of reverse the club’s youth academy and having ‘football men’ in key positions of the club would be followed.

One of the main jobs of the supervisory board is appointing a new board. They agreed on a different model compared to the Bayern Munich model (of which Cruijff has become an adept). No more technical director, only a director of football and a financial director. Johan Cruijff’s ideal director of football was Tscheu La Ling but the other four board members didn’t fancy him. Marco van Basten was close to agreeing on taking the job, but he backed out. After six months, Ajax still hadn’t a board and as Cruijff kept saying he wanted La Ling, the other four didn’t see another way than appointing Van Gaal behind his back with Martin Sturkenboom as financial director and Danny Blind as technical director. Back to the old model, indeed. Something Cruijff isn’t happy about either.

The four other board members never told Cruijff about their decision. The legendary no14 said he had to hear it from a friend when he was in the car back to Barcelona. His first reaction was: “they have gone mad”.

Right now, Ajax are separated in two parts: ‘Camp Cruijff’ and ‘Camp Ten Have’. There are no signs of peace. Every single piece of trust has been broken by the decision that was made last Wednesday. Johan Cruijff is standing face to face with the other four. He also said that he doesn’t want to work with Louis van Gaal. The latter said that he’s willing to try it.

What the fans want is clear. I was at Ajax – NAC Breda last Saturday and Johan’s name has been chanted the whole game. Johan Cruijff is Ajax’s biggest icon. He is the one that made this club famous. Johan is Ajax. As a banner said: ‘The supervisory board can be replaced, real Ajacieden can’t’.

The Members Council has to vote. Will it be Cruijff or will it be Ten Have and others? I’m on Cruijff’s side. He hasn’t been God himself in the way he treated people and acted sometimes but he’s still Johan Cruijff. If there’s one person who can bring Ajax back to where they belong, it’s him.

It hurts me to see Ajax like this. It breaks my heart in a million pieces. I love this club more than anything else What’s going on right now is a real soap and it could easily be a Greek tradedy. In the Greek tradegy, Ajax committed suicide.  Let’s hope it will never come this far..

I hope, despite everything that happened, Louis and Johan can bury the hatchet in Ajax’s interest. I hope they can put their egos aside. For Ajax. For the supporters. As for the other four board members, I want them out of my club as soon as possible. What they have done is simply unacceptable. People without a football background think they know what’s the best for Ajax once again. The last 15 years have proven they don’t. Let Johan do it and if possible with Louis.

If that happens, every little thing is gonna be alright.

 

Advertisements