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Shamed Marc Overmars set to alert Newcastle despite quitting Ajax role in disgrace


Marc Overmars has left his role at Ajax after engaging inappropriately with a staff member but the Dutchman is still set to command offers with Newcastle among those previously linked

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Marc Overmars has quit as director of football at Ajax – after he was found to have sent a number of inappropriate messages to female employees of the Dutch club.

Overmars, 48, offered his resignation after admitting he is ashamed of his behaviour – and it was accepted by the Ajax board.

He said: “I am ashamed. Last week I was confronted with reports about my behaviour and how this has come across to others.

“Unfortunately, I did not realise that I had crossed boundaries with this, but that became clear to me these days. I suddenly felt an enormous pressure.

“I offer my apologies. Especially for someone in my position, this behaviour cannot be justified.

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“I see that now, but it’s too late. I see no other option than to stop at Ajax.

“This also has a major impact on my private situation. That’s why I ask everyone to leave me and my family alone.”

Marc Overmars has left his role at Ajax
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Image:

Sunday Mirror)

Overmars’ availability is certain to alert a number of clubs – especially Newcastle following the Saudi Arabian takeover at St James’ Park.

Overmars spoke to representatives of the Tyneside club in October.

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But he decided to stay in Amsterdam – and in December he signed a new five-and-a-half-year contact.

He has worked closely with manager Erik ten Hag over the past four-and-a-half years.

And the break up of their partnership may come into the Dutch coach’s thinking when he decides his own future.

Manchester United have Ten Hag on their managerial wish-list.

Overmars has developed a reputation for identifying, recruiting and developing world-class talent over the last nine years.

He had a storied playing career that saw him star for Ajax and Barcelona either side of a successful three-year spell with Arsenal that saw him help Arsene Wenger ’s team win a Premier League and FA Cup Double in 1998.

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Since returning to Ajax in an executive role, the club have won four Eredivisie titles as well as two Dutch Cups.

They currently lead the table by five points and are through to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will meet Benfica.

Ajax have qualified for Europe’s elite club competition seven times during his time.

They reached the semi-final in 2019 and the quarter-final last season.

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That’s despite selling £600million of talent, including £72million Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona and Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus for £59million.

Davinson Sanchez joined Spurs for £35.5million and Hakim Ziyech and Donny van de Beek moved to Chelsea and Manchester United respectively for £33.75million each.

Overmars has also enhanced Ajax’s reputation for developing homegrown talent, with no fewer than 42 academy graduates making it into the first team during his tenure.

The Dutchman has previously been a man courted by Premier League clubs
(

Image:

2020 Simon Stacpoole/Offside)

But his time at the club came to an end after talks in recent days with Ajax’s supervisory board and general manager Edwin van der Sar following allegations that he had been sending sexually inapproproiate messages to female staff over a long period of time.

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Former United keeper Van der Sar, a close friend and former team-mate of Overmars, said: “I think the situation is appalling for everyone.

“In my role I also feel responsible to help colleagues. A safe working climate is very important for everyone at Ajax.

“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 Holland.

“We have been colleagues in the management of Ajax for almost 10 years now. now stops very abruptly.

“We are working on something very beautiful here, so this news will also be a blow to everyone who cares about Ajax. But our ambitions here remain the same.”

Newcastle’s new hierarchy could still look to appoint Marc Overmars

Ajax felt they had option but to part company with Overmars.

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Supervisory board chairman Leen Meijaard: “This is a dramatic situation for everyone who is involved in this in any way.

“It is drastic for the women who had to deal with the behaviuor. When we heard noises about this, we immediately acted.

“It was carefully considered and weighed up what was the best thing to do, all in consultation with general manager Edwin van der Sar and assisted by an independent supervisor.

“Marc is probably the best football director Ajax has had. It is not for nothing that we upgraded and extended his contract.

“But unfortunately he has really crossed boundaries, so continuing as director was not an option, he saw that himself. It is very painful.

“I want to express the wish that everyone involved is given the peace and privacy to process this.”

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