ARSENAL icon Marc Overmars has apologised and resigned as Ajax Director of Football after sending inappropriate messages to female colleagues.
Overmars, 48, had been in the role since 2012 and recently penned a new deal until 2026.
But after reports of his behaviour came to light in the media Overmars spoke with the Supervisory Board and CEO Edwin van der Sar and decided to quit.
He said in a statement published by Ajax: “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 realize that I was crossing the line with this, but that was made clear to me in recent days. I suddenly felt enormous pressure. I apologize.
“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.”
According to the statement, Overmars sent a series of messages to several female colleagues – it was not an isolated incident.
Board chairman Leen Meijaard also called for privacy on the matter, for all individuals involved.
He 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.”
Former Manchester United star van der Sar added: “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 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 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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