Cruijff family upset by delays in renaming Amsterdam Arena

Johan Cruijff's name in a living mosaic in the Amsterdam ArenA, 3 Apr 2016 (Photo: AFC Ajax/Facebook)Photo: AFC Ajax/Facebook

The family of football legend Johan Cruijff regrets that that still no agreement has been reached about renaming the Amsterdam Arena to the Johan Cruijff Arena, Cruijff's son Jordi Cruijff wrote in his column in the Telegraaf on Monday.

"I want to say on behalf of my family that we find it very regrettable that no solution has yet been found for the naming of the Arena", Cruijff wrote. As a waiting party, we do not know exactly what is going on. The Arena, Ajax and the municipality of Amsterdam do not seem to get through it business wise, only we do not know the details. We don't want to know that either."

Johan Cruijff passed away in March 2016, and the matter of renaming the stadium in his honor was raised almost immediately. In April of this year, it was announced that the three parties singed a letter of intent to change the stadium's name after Cruijff. It was then said that they expect that the final agreements will be submitted to the Amsterdam city council within six months. In October it became clear that the name change was delayed, with the reason given that "all parties involved need a little longer to complete the process", according to The new expectation was that the agreement would be submitted before year-end, but that also seems unlikely now.

These delays left the Cruijff family upset, Jordi Cruijff wrote. "We had hoped that, after the declaration of intent, pushed by Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, the discussions would soon be concluded. Unfortunately, this is not the case", he wrote. "That does not feel good to us. But it is nice to see and hear how many people already counts the Arena as the Johan Cruiff Arena. A nice gesture that we really appreciate."

Jordi Cruifjf also disputed rumors that the delay was caused by the family. "We have heard that the family would like to earn money from the naming. I do not know who put that story into the world, but it is not true and is rather embarrassing", he wrote. "If the stadium was ever called the Johan Cruijff Arena, we would only find it very beautiful."

He added that the family would only ask for commission if a sponsor is linked to his father's name. "Only that is not what matters. It's never even been discussed with us. That would also make no sense, as long as the parties involved are not there yet. Again, it's just a shame. My father is no longer here and Van Der Laan is not here anymore, for that reason it's actually getting more painful by the day."