Edwin van der Sar reveals the Ajax board were aware of Marc Overmars’ behaviour when they gave him a new contract and £1.25m bonus just before he quit in disgrace after admitting sending ‘inappropriate messages’ to female colleagues
- Ajax board were made aware of allegations against Marc Overmars in January
- The Dutch club renewed his contract while they were investigating the claims
- He left this month over his ‘inappropriate messages’ to female colleagues
Edwin van der Sar has confirmed that the Ajax board knew about Marc Overmars behaviour before they extended his contract and handed him a €1.5million (£1.25m) bonus.
Overmars, 54, left his role as director of football affairs on February 7 after sending a series of ‘inappropriate messages’ to female colleagues.
Now Van der Sar has revealed the Dutch club were investigating allegations against Overmars when they renewed his contract in January.
Marc Overmars left Ajax after sending ‘inappropriate messages’ to female colleagues
‘We received signals just before that. Our supervisory board was also informed’, he told Dutch publication De Telegraff.
‘It was just before January 28 and involved noises. We wanted to investigate this first before publicising this or postponing the extension.
‘Only later did we get a broader picture of the behaviour and action was taken.’
Overmars, 48, stood down after discussions with Van der Sar and the supervisory board following reports of alleged misconduct, with the ex-Manchester United goalkeeper reportedly stepping in temporarily as sporting director.
Overmars left after meeting with Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar and the supervisory board
Ajax admitted to Overmars’ departure with a statement which said: ‘A series of inappropriate messages sent to several female colleagues over an extended period of time underlies his decision to leave the club.’
Former Ajax, Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Overmars, who had been in his post since the summer of 2012, admitted his behaviour had been ‘unacceptable’ and issued an apology.
‘I am ashamed,’ he said.
‘Last week I was confronted with reports about my behaviour and how this has come across to others.
Overmars apologised for the inappropriate messages he sent to female colleagues
‘Unfortunately, I didn’t realise that I was crossing the line with this, but that was made clear to me in recent days. 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.’
Supervisory board chairman Leen Meijaard said Overmars’ behaviour had been ‘devastating’ for the women involved, and admitted there was little option but for ‘probably the best football director that Ajax has had’ to leave.
Van der Sar has confirmed that the Ajax board knew about allegations against Overmars
Former Holland team-mate 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 10 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.’