Thu. Jun 30th, 2022

The director of football and former Arsenal winger has called time on his tenure at the club and says he is “ashamed” of the messages which have now become public

Marc Overmars is the current director of football at Ajax, a role he has held since 2012
Marc Overmars has left a role he had held since 2012 (

Image: Getty Images)

Marc Overmars has left his role as Ajax director of football after admitting he sent inappropriate messages to female colleagues at the club.

The former Arsenal and Netherlands winger had been in his post since 2012, and recently signed a new contract until 2026.

However, after reports broke in the Netherlands that he has been sending sexually inappropriate messages to colleagues, he has been quick to resign.

In a statement on the Ajax website, Overmars 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.

Overmars has left his role with immediate effect
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Image:

SIPA USA/PA Images)

“I suddenly felt enormous pressure. I apologise. Certainly for someone in my position, this behaviour is unacceptable.

“I now see that too. 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.”

Ajax board chairman Leen Meijaard said: “This is a dramatic situation for everyone who is involved in any way.

“It is devastating for the women who have had to deal with the behaviour. When we heard news of this, we immediately acted, carefully deliberating and weighing what was the best thing to do – all in consultation with CEO Edwin van der Sar and assisted by an external expert.

“Marc is probably the best football director that Ajax has had. We upgraded and extended his contract for a reason. But, unfortunately, he has really gone over the line, so continuing as director was not an option.”

CEO Edwin van der Sar called the situation “appalling”

Club chief executive and Overmars’ former Dutch teammate Van der Sar said: “I find the situation appalling for everyone and I agree with Leen Meijaard’s words.

“In my role, I also feel responsible to help colleagues. A safe working climate is very important for everyone at Ajax.

“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 ten 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.”

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