Edwin van der Sar resigns as Ajax CEO, fans think they know what's next
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Edwin van der Sar will step down from his role as Ajax's chief executive officer in August after the club missed out on Champions League qualification for the first time since 2009.
After facing criticism of late, including boos from supporters ahead of their final home game of the season against Utrecht, the former goalkeeper has decided to leave.
“After almost eleven years on the board, I am done,” van der Sar said. “We have experienced wonderful things together, but it has also been an incredibly tough period."
He added: "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.”
Pier Eringa, who is the Supervisory Board Chair at the Dutch club, added: "We wanted Edwin to stay, but he had made his decision. We have to respect that. The last season does not reflect the entire period that he has been in charge of Ajax.
"The club has seen a lot of success, has seen a lot of growth, and gained international exposure."
Thanks for everything, Edwin ♥️— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) May 30, 2023
You embraced the role of CEO with the same vision that defined your days as a player. We are forever grateful for that. Once an Ajax legend, always an Ajax legend.
Since the news emerged, plenty of fans have encouraged Manchester United to make a move for their former shot-stopper, who spent six trophy-laden years at Old Trafford between 2005 and 2011.
One said: "See you at Old Trafford soon VDS," while another commented: "Now that he has officially confirmed his departure from Ajax, it should be an absolute no-brainer for #MUFC to bring him back to Old Trafford as DoF. Move heaven and earth, but get him at any cost."
A third wrote: "Erik Ten Hag and Edwin Van Der Sar both at Manchester United would make too much sense. C'mon we need this combination."
A fourth added: "Edwin van der Sar leaving Ajax today, having had a poor season as CEO, does not detract from his excellent performance in the role so far. He would still be a great option in that position for Manchester United. Business relationships and the cohesion of different people with."
"He’s relentless, he wants to achieve as much as possible," he said. "The training exercises, the way he wants to play.
"Of course we tried to persuade him to stay, but Erik is someone who knows what he wants and the direction he wants to go. The moment United made their approach, it was obvious it was a big challenge for him and that he wanted to take it."
Van der Sar also played down claims linking him with a move back to Manchester United. “It’s never been that close," he added. “I have a good relationship with the board and I had a fantastic six years in Manchester, but I’m not finished here yet.”