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Ajax announced last Sunday that Overmars, 48, had stepped down from his role with “immediate effect” after the club was rocked by the damning allegations.
The shamed Arsenal star was named sporting director in 2012 and had signed a new contract last December, which would have kept Overmars at Ajax until 2026.
Speaking after Ajax’s 5-0 thumping of Vitesse in the Dutch Cup on Wednesday, Ten Hag admitted he was crestfallen over the scandal involving Overmars.
The Ajax manager, who has been linked with Manchester United, revealed he was “totally stunned” when he first heard the news surrounding Overmars.
“I’m fine... we’ve had incredibly bad days, of course,” Ten Hag told ESPN.
Erik ten Hag reageert voor het eerst op het nieuws rondom Marc Overmars.— ESPN NL (@ESPNnl) February 9, 2022
"Dit is gewoon rampzalig, met name voor de gedupeerden" pic.twitter.com/o63EtEqIDm
“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.”
Overmars, who enjoyed a prolific playing career at Ajax, was accused of sending a ‘series of inappropriate messages [...] to several female colleagues.’
Ten Hag, 52, shared a close relationship with Ajax’s former director of football after arriving at the Eredivisie club in 2017.
The Dutchman insisted that his “first thoughts” are with the women who are “suffering,” despite admitting that one can “sympathise with him [Overmars].”
Ten Hag added: “That’s why it hits hard. Of course, you sympathise with him. But the first thoughts go to the suffering of the women. It touches us all to the depths of our souls.”
Speaking on his most recent exchange with Overmars, the Ajax boss said: “That’s between us... a very difficult situation.
“It affects us all, but as of yesterday, the switch had to be turned.”
Overmars issued a statement to Ajax’s official website where he claimed he was “ashamed” of his actions and how his behaviour was “unacceptable.”
Featured Image Credit: ESPN's Twitter/PA
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