‘Ashamed’ Marc Overmars quits Ajax in disgrace after admitting to sending ‘appalling, inappropriate messages’ to female colleagues, ending his 10-year reign as director of football and leaving Edwin van der Sar furious
- Marc Overmars has left Ajax over his ‘inappropriate messages’ to colleagues
- The director of football affairs sent the messages to several female colleagues
- Overmars spoke with the supervisory board and Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar
- Ex-goalkeeper Van der Sar described the situation as ‘appalling for everyone’
Marc Overmars has left his role at Ajax after sending a series of ‘inappropriate messages’ to female colleagues, the Dutch giants have announced.
Director of football affairs Overmars has stood down after discussions with chief executive Edwin van der Sar and the supervisory board following reports of alleged misconduct.
A statement on Ajax’s official website said: ‘Director of football affairs Marc Overmars will leave Ajax with immediate effect.
Marc Overmars has left his position at Ajax following ‘inappropriate messages’ to colleagues
‘He made this decision after discussions in recent days with the supervisory board and CEO Edwin van der Sar and communicated his intentions to them.
‘A series of inappropriate messages sent to several female colleagues over an extended period of time underlies his decision to leave the club.’
Former Ajax, Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Overmars, who had been in his post since the summer of 2012, admitted his behaviour had been ‘unacceptable’ and issued an apology.
Overmars left after meeting with Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar and the supervisory board
The 48-year-old said: ‘I am ashamed. Last week I was confronted with reports about my behaviour and how this has come across to others.
‘Unfortunately, I didn’t realise that I was crossing the line with this, but that was made clear to me in recent days. I suddenly felt enormous pressure.
‘I apologise. Certainly for someone in my position, this behaviour is unacceptable. I now see that too.
The former director of football affairs sent inappropriate messages to female colleagues
‘But it is too late. I see no other option but to leave Ajax. This also has a major impact on my private situation. That is why I ask everyone to leave me and my family alone.’
Supervisory board chairman Leen Meijaard said Overmars’ behaviour had been ‘devastating’ for the women involved, and admitted there was little option but for ‘probably the best football director that Ajax has had’ to leave.
Former Holland team-mate Van der Sar added: ‘I find the situation appalling for everyone and I agree with Leen Meijaard’s words.
Overmars spent three years at Arsenal and won the Premier League title in the 1997-98 season
‘In my role, I also feel responsible to help colleagues. A safe sport and working climate is very important. We will pay even more attention to this in the near future.
‘Marc and I have been playing together since the early 1990s, first at Ajax and then with the national team, and we have been colleagues in the management of Ajax for almost 10 years now.
‘That has now come to a very abrupt end. We are working on something very wonderful here at Ajax, so this news will also be a blow to everyone who cares about Ajax.’