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Ajax Can’t Appoint Van Gaal as Director, Dutch Court Rules

AFC Ajax NV Board Member Johan Cruyff
AFC Ajax NV board member Johan Cruyff. Photographer: Olaf Kraak/AFP/Getty Images

AFC Ajax NV can’t appoint Louis van Gaal and Martin Sturkenboom as directors at the Dutch soccer club because the supervisory board didn’t allow member Johan Cruijff to participate in the decision, a Dutch court said..

“By keeping Johan Cruijff deliberately outside of the decision making process on the appointments of Van Gaal and Sturkenboom, the other board members have acted in an unacceptable manner,” the Amsterdam district court said in a statement on its website today.

Last November board members led by Chairman Steven ten Have proposed naming Van Gaal as chairman after they couldn’t agree with Cruijff on an appointment. Previously, the club adopted Cruijff’s plan to focus on developing talented individual players, and hired former stars Dennis Bergkamp, Jaap Stam and Marc Overmars to help with training.

The future of the supervisory board is on the agenda of a Feb. 10 extraordinary shareholders meeting, where a vote of confidence on the panel is scheduled. Ajax shareholders can dismiss the supervisory board, which will then trigger outside appointments by an Amsterdam court.

Ajax may decide to cancel the extraordinary shareholders meeting within the next two days, according to a statement by lawyer Peter Wakkie on the club’s website. The club may then follow with a procedure to include Cruijff in a proposal to reappoint Van Gaal and Sturkenboom, it said in the statement.

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