Erik ten Hag gives uncompromising response to Marc Overmars’ sudden Ajax exit


Marc Overmars resigned from his position as Ajax’s director of football after sending inappropriate messages to women and Erik ten Hag’s sympathies lie with the victims

Erik ten Haag's sympathies lie with the victims after Marc Overmars' resignation
Erik ten Haag’s sympathies lie with the victims after Marc Overmars’ resignation

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has offered his sympathies to the women who received inappropriate messages from the club’s ex-director of football Marc Overmars.

The former Arsenal winger resigned on Sunday after admitting his shameful actions.

When asked for his opinion ahead of Ajax’s 5-0 victory against Vitesse in the Dutch Cup on Wednesday, Ten Hag issued a straight and uncompromising response to what transpired as he was keen to highlight the victims’ pain.

“I’m fine… we’ve had incredibly bad days, of course,” the Ajax manager told ESPN. “I was totally stunned when I heard it.

“This is disastrous. Especially for the victims; the women. I have a hard time with the suffering that has been caused to them. Everyone processes this in their own way.

“I then withdraw a bit and am a bit quieter than usual. As a coach you naturally have to radiate energy, but that was difficult the last few days.”

Erik ten Hag’s sympathies lie with the victims and not Marc Overmars
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Image:

Cees van Hoogdalem/Socrates/Getty Images)

Ten Hag developed a relationship with Overmars following his appointment as manager in December 2017 and has admitted he feels for the shamed administrator – but cannot look past the victims.

“That’s why it hits hard,” he added. “Of course, you sympathize with him. But the first thoughts go to the suffering of the women. It touches us all to the depths of our souls.”

On his most recent conversation with Overmars, Ten Hag said: “That’s between us… a very difficult situation. It affects us all, but as of yesterday, the switch had to be turned.”

Overmars – who was linked with a move to mega-rich Newcastle – admitted he was “ashamed” in his resignation message to Ajax supporters.

“Last week I was confronted with reports about my behavior and how this has come across to others” continued the former Netherlands international.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I was crossing the line with this, but that was made clear to me in recent days. I suddenly felt enormous pressure.

“I apologize. Certainly for someone in my position, this behavior 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.”

Ajax board chairman Leen Meijaard added: “This is a dramatic situation for everyone who is involved in any way. It is devastating for the women who have had to deal with the behaviour.

“When we heard news of this, we immediately acted, carefully deliberating and weighing what was the best thing to do – all in consultation with CEO Edwin van der Sar and assisted by an external expert.

Overmars left his position on Sunday following the scandal
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Image:

ANP Sport via Getty Images)

“Marc is probably the best football director that Ajax has had. We upgraded and extended his contract for a reason.

“But, unfortunately, he has really gone over the line, so continuing as director was not an option.”

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Van der Sar continued: “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 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 the national team and we have been colleagues in the management of Ajax for almost ten 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.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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