Marc Overmars leaves Ajax over sexual texts to female colleagues
It has been almost two months since Ajax announced with a slick video that the director of football affairs Marc Overmars remains loyal to the Amsterdam club. "Stop calling," a proud national champion warned all interested foreign clubs on 8 December. The message: Overmars will remain with Ajax until mid-2026.
Sunday, just before midnight, Ajax issued a press release about the same Overmars. The 48-year-old former football player is leaving immediately. He has been sending border-crossing messages to several female colleagues for an extended time. He said he was confronted with this behavior last week, possibly after the news about abuses in The Voice of Holland and transgressive behavior and sexual violence in the media world.
In his own words, Overmars was initially utterly unaware that he had crossed a line. "But now I'm ashamed," he said in the press release. "Unfortunately, I didn't realize that I was crossing boundaries with this, but that became clear to me these days. That made me suddenly feel enormous pressure. I apologize. Especially for someone in my position, this behavior is not justifiable. I see that now too. But too late. I see no other option than to stop at Ajax."
Overmars has been very successful at Ajax since 2012. With him as director of football affairs, the club made over 300 million euros profit on the transfer market. Together with general manager Edwin van der Sar, he managed to connect the club from Amsterdam with the sub-top of Europe in recent years, with a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019 as the provisional highlight. Overmars is friends with coach Eric ten Hag, who came to Amsterdam on his intercession.
Van der Sar and the rest of Ajax's leadership now have to look for a replacement for Overmars. The transfer market closed last week, but behind the scenes, talks about possible transfers and contracts continue. Because Overmars was already working on the next season.
"Marc and I have been playing together since the early 90s," said Van der Sar. "First at Ajax and then at Oranje, and we have been colleagues in the management of Ajax for almost ten years now. That now stops very abruptly. We are working on something wonderful here, so this news will also be a blow to everyone who cares about Ajax. But our ambitions remain intact."
The press release did not include a statement from the victims.
Reporting by ANP