A Dutch appeals court has ruled that Ajax unlawfully hired Louis van Gaal as chief executive and must reverse the appointment, following a complaint from club legend Johan Cruyff.
Ajax have had a tumultuous few months, with boardroom politics threatening to rip them apart off the pitch and Frank de Boer's side failing to impress on it.
Cruyff, a member of the Dutch giants' ruling board of commissioners, was left angered by the board's decision to hire former Netherlands coach Van Gaal during a meeting he did not attend.
The board insisted Van Gaal's appointment did not need Cruyff's ratification but he vehemently disagreed and has led a very public legal battle against the club with which he won three European Cups as a player.
The Amsterdam Appeal Court said in a written decision on Tuesday that other board members ''deliberately put Cruyff offside'' by appointing Van Gaal in November, and insisted that the appointment must be reversed.