World Football

Edwin van der Sar steps down as Ajax CEO after 7 years

Dhruv SharmaDhruv Sharma

May 30 2023
Edwin van der Sar Ajax

Ajax have won three Eredivisie titles during his reign 

Edwin van der Sar resigns from the post of Ajax CEO after seven years in charge. The Dutch international made more than 300 appearances as a player for Ajax before going on to play in the Serie A and Premier League for Juventus, Fulham, and Manchester United, respectively.

Edwin van der Sar, who won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and in 2008 when Manchester United beat Chelsea, has four Premier League titles with United and four Eredivisie titles with Ajax. He is one of the most decorated goalkeepers of this generation.

The former goalkeeper joined Ajax’s board in 2012, becoming the chief executive in 2016. With Erik Ten Hag, he started rebuilding the Ajax side. Ajax started playing beautiful football with young players like Donny van de Beek, De Jong, Ziyech, Lisandro Martinez, and Antony, all of whom are playing their best football for Europe’s best clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, and Barcelona.

Ajax Academy is one of the best academies in the world, Van der Sar’s role in recruiting players and managers has been massive to Ajax’s success in recent years. The 2022-23 season was a rollercoaster ride for the Dutch side. Erik Ten Hag chose to leave the Eredivisie side and join Manchester United, and he went on to sign the pillars of Ajax, the defensive maestro Lisandro Martinez and the cheeky Brazilian winger Antony, in the same window.

Ajax struggled after Ten Hag left, with successor Alfred Schreuder lasting less than a season at the helm. He was sacked in January and was replaced by former Everton defender John Heitinga. Ajax’s third place in the Eredivisie meant they would not qualify for the Champions League next season. After a season to forget for the fans, things escalated when their CEO (Edwin van der Sar) announced that he would leave that position, and soon his departure was made official.

The final matchday saw the fans boo the legendary club goalkeeper, and he quotes, “

“After almost eleven years on the board, I am done.” 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,” added Edwin van der Sar

Ajax, champions for the previous two seasons, had not finished out of the Eredivisie’s top two for 14 years but finished the 2022-23 campaign 12 points behind champions Feyenoord and six behind second-placed PSV Eindhoven.

They also failed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League and were beaten in the Europa League knockout round play-off by German side Union Berlin.

Even though this was a season to forget for Ajax, the chairman of Ajax’s supervisory board, Pier Eringa, said they wanted him to stay but respected his decision to leave the club. He will be involved in transfers and advising until August 1, and we can expect a new Board of Directors after the same.

After Edwin van der Sar’s departure, Manchester United fans are anticipating him to join Erik Ten Hag and the Board of Directors at Old Trafford next season. Fans have been buzzing on Twitter and begging club icon Van der Sar to make his return to the “Theatre of Dreams.”

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