Ajax directors step down after Cruyff bust up

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THE HAGUE, March 31 – Members of the Ajax board of directors have stepped down after a battle of wits with a working group led by former star Johan Cruyff, the Dutch outfit said on Wednesday.

"With this decision, the members of the board wish to assume their responsibilities in order to help haul the club out of the mire," the former European champions said in a statement.

Chairman Uri Coronel will step down once a successor has been found.

The club tasked Cruyff with laying the groundwork to restore the club to its former glories – the Amsterdam side has not won the Dutch title in seven seasons and had little impact in Europe.

The four-times European champions currently stand third in the domestic table.

In his advisory capacity Cruyff has spoken out against the way the club is run and wants to see some officials fired.

Coronel said that such is Cruyff’s influence owing to his history as player and coach – he also had a successful period in charge of Barcelona, winning the Catalan club’s first European Cup – that it was difficult to gainsay him.

"Cruyff is almost a deity in Amsterdam. It is not easy to have a different opinion from him," Coronel explained.

Wednesday’s move is likely to presage an extraordinary general meeting of club members.

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