Ajax director Overmars quits over ‘inappropriate messages’ to female colleagues
Ajax Amsterdam director of football affairs Marc Overmars has left his role with immediate effect over a series of inappropriate messages sent to several female colleagues, the Dutch club said late on Sunday.
The 48-year-old Overmars said in a statement he was ashamed and his behaviour had been “unacceptable”.
“Last week I was confronted with reports about my behaviour. And how this has come across to others.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I was crossing the line with this, but that was made clear to me in recent days,” Overmars said.
“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.”
Former Netherlands, Arsenal and Barcelona winger Overmars played for Ajax from 1992 to 1997 and became the director in 2012.
He was recently re-appointed for a new term until mid-2026.
Overmars is broadly seen as the architect of Ajax’ recent string of successes, as he raised salaries at the club significantly and managed to bring in Premier League players such as Daley Blind, Dusan Tadic and Sebastien Haller.
Ajax reached the Uefa Champions League semi-final in 2019, two years after losing the Europa League final against Manchester United, and are in the knock-out phase of the tournament again this year – facing Benfica later this month.
Overmars’ decision comes amidst a public debate in the Netherlands about the treatment of women in the workplace.
Weeks of allegations of harassment and abuse of power on the set of the hit talent show “The Voice” prompted an outpouring of disgust.
Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar said the situation was “appalling”.
“A safe sport and working climate is very important. We will pay even more attention to this in the near future,” he said.
Ajax are top of Eredivisie on 51 points after 21 matches. – Reuters