Ajax legend Johan Cruyff has denied accusations he directed a racist comment towards fellow supervisory board member Edgar Davids.
Cruyff is alleged to have suggested former AC Milan and Barcelona midfielder Davids was only nominated on to the board due to the colour of his skin.
But Cruyff, writing in his column in De Telegraaf newspaper, has dismissed the claims out of hand.
He wrote: “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.”
Davids himself posted a statement on his personal website in which he cleared Cruyff of racism but did describe a remark from the former Holland playmaker as “unfortunate”.
He said: “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 like to make clear I have deep respect for the soccer player John Cruyff.”
The issue is just one to have hit the Amsterdam giants over recent days with the club announcing there was a split in the supervisory board.
A statement on the official website read: “At the meeting for Members Council and Board of Ajax, with the complete Advisory Board present, it was established that a breach of trust occurred between Johan Cruyff on one side, and Steven ten Have, Edgar Davids, Marjan Olfers and Paul Romer on the other.
“During the meeting, Cruyff confirmed that he was no longer prepared to work towards repairing this breach. This has several consequences for the functioning of the Advisory Board.”
It is thought the row has stemmed from the supervisory board’s decision to appoint former coach Louis van Gaal as the club’s new general director without Cruyff’s knowledge.
The club also announced the board – which is a different committee to the supervisory board – would be stepping down immediately having outlined their intention to quit in March.
The statement added: “At the same time, the current board, Uri Coronel, Joop Krant and Cor van Eijden, has decided to formally cease functioning as Ajax’s board.
“On March 30, 2011, they had announced that their positions would become available. The new (interim) board members will be named at the next Members Council meeting.”