‘I am exhausted!’: Edwin van der Sar RESIGNS from role as Ajax CEO and reveals ‘incredibly tough period’ at the club… after Dutch side’s domestic struggles saw them miss out on Champions League qualification
- Edwin van der Sar will step down from his role as chief executive officer at Ajax
- The former Man United goalkeeper took on the role at the club back in 2016
- However, after their poor campaign in 2022-23, he’s decided to leave the job
Edwin van der Sar has resigned from his role as Ajax’s chief executive officer and revealed the ‘incredibly tough period’ that led to the decision.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper had spent seven years in the position, since his appointment in 2016, before opting to leave on Tuesday morning.
The decision comes shortly after the end of the Eredivisie campaign, where Ajax finished 13 points behind league winners Feyenoord.
It was hardly the season that many fans expected – as they eventually missed out on Champions League football for next season – given their long-time dominance.
However, things did not go well for the Dutch side and, as he said farewell to the club, van der Sar lifted the lid on his reasons behind departing from the role.
Edwin van der Sar (above) has resigned from his role as chief executive officer at Ajax
The news comes at the end of a disappointing season for Ajax – who finished 3rd in the league
Speaking to the club website, van der Sar said: ‘After almost eleven years on the board, I am exhausted. We’ve been through some very nice things, but it’s also been an incredibly tough period.
‘I am very grateful to the people I met and worked with during my second career at Ajax for what we have achieved and experienced. I now need to distance myself, relax and do other things.
‘It doesn’t feel good to have to make decisions about the future of this beautiful club in the coming period. Hence my decision to stop now.’
The ex-United goalkeeper has come under criticism in recent weeks, as Ajax have struggled to perform on the pitch and slumped to a third-placed finish.
It was their worst league performance in 13 years and the first time they have failed to qualify for the Champions League since the 2008-09.
Despite making 10 signings throughout the season – including the likes of Steven Bergwijn and Calvin Bassey – they finished well below title-winners Feyenoord.
In addition, van der Sar had already faced backlash over the respective departures of director of football Marc Overmars and head coach Erik ten Hag.
Van der Sar had already faced backlash in the wake of Erik ten Hag’s (R) departure last summer
And, although there was displeasure from fans about van der Sar’s performance, Supervisory Board Chair, Pier Eringa, reiterated the fact they wanted him ‘to stay’.
‘We wanted Edwin to stay, but his decision was made and we have to respect that,’ Eringa explained. ‘The past season is not representative of the total period of Ajax under his leadership.
‘The club has experienced many successes, has grown enormously and has also gained international prestige. His duties will be taken over by the current management. Edwin will remain available for transfer and advice until August.
‘We expect to be able to announce the new management composition soon after 1 August. Our ambition is to add someone with an Ajax background to the top.’
Steven Bergwijn was one of Ajax’s big summer signings, after joining from Spurs for £28m
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