Edwin van der Sar has announced that following an “incredibly tough period” he will be stepping down from his role as Ajax CEO this summer.
The 52-year-old former Manchester United goalkeeper had been part of Ajax’s Board of Directors since November 2012, where he started as Director of Marketing, four years later Van der Sar was named as Chief Executive Officer.
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Van der Sar will transfer his duties to his colleagues on the Board of Directors from June 1, 2023, onwards. The club’s Supervisory Board has requested Van der Sar to formally remain in his position until August 1, to ensure a good transfer of both national and international dossiers. Ajax expects to announce a new Board of Directors after August 1. The club’s ambition is to add someone with an Ajax background.
Under his leadership, the Amsterdammers enjoyed renewed success at home and in European competitions, their sporting achievements coupled with media and commercial successes subsequently led to Ajax enjoying tremendous growth. Besides that role, Van der Sar held multiple board positions at FIFA, UEFA, and ECA. His contract ran until June 30, 2025.
However, it’s been a stint without scrutiny and heavy criticism, notably handling of the sensitive Abdelhak Nouri and Marc Overmars situations. His departure coincided with Ajax enduring their worst-performing Eredivisie campaign since 2008/09.
A message for you ❌❌❌ pic.twitter.com/dHjwYXXYod
— Edwin van der Sar (@vdsar1970) May 30, 2023
“After almost eleven years on the board, I am done,” he said in a statement. “We have experienced wonderful things together, but it has also been an incredibly tough period. I am very grateful for the people I have met and worked with during my second career at Ajax, and what we have achieved and been through together. I feel the need to take some distance, to get some rest, and to do other things. It doesn’t feel good to take decisions about the future of this wonderful club in the coming period. That is why I have decided to resign.”