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Marc Overmars has claimed that he is “ashamed” and apologised after quitting as Ajax director of football over a ‘series of inappropriate messages sent to several female colleagues.’
The 48-year-old was appointed sporting director for Ajax in 2012 and inked a new deal last December to keep him at the Dutch side until 2026.
Overmars has now made a shock exit from the defending Dutch champions after talks with the club’s board and Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar.
Speaking to Ajax’s official website, the club’s former director of football said that his behaviour was “unacceptable” and his position was untenable after the allegations.
“I am ashamed. Last week I was confronted with reports about my behaviour and how this has come across to others,” Overmars said.
“Unfortunately, I didn't realise that I was crossing the line with this, but that was made clear to me in recent days. I suddenly felt enormous pressure. I apologise.
“Certainly for someone in my position, this behaviour 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.”
Van der Sar said the news will be a “blow to everyone who cares about Ajax” and found the situation “appalling for everyone.”
The former Manchester United No 1 explained: “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 sport and working climate is very important. 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 10 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.”
Overmars enjoyed a prolific playing career with Ajax during the 1990s.
The former Ajax star lifted three Eredivisie titles and a Dutch Cup before he signed for Arsenal in 1997.
Overmars, who was capped 86 times by the Netherlands, won the Premier League title and FA Cup with the Gunners during his three seasons in England.
The Dutch former winger subsequently moved to Barcelona in 2000 and announced his initial retirement in 2004.
However, Overmars made a U-turn in 2008 and spent a second spell at Dutch side Go Ahead Eagles for a single season before hanging up his boots.
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