Edwin van der Sar will step down from his role as Ajax CEO, the club has confirmed. The 52-year-old former Ajax and Manchester United goalkeeper was handed the CEO role in 2016. Having been heavily criticised by the fan base all season, Van der Sar sees no future for himself at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
Ajax experienced their worst season in 14 years with a third-place finish after Sunday’s 3-1 loss to FC Twente. Van der Sar has been blamed for the club’s recent downfall. Erik ten Hag’s departure and the sacking of sporting director Marc Overmars have also led to poor performances on the pitch. Ajax supporters were also unsettled with the lack of summer signings last year after several key players made moves away from the club.
In a statement, Van der Sar said ‘After almost 11 years on the board, I’m finished. We have experienced very nice things, but it has also been an incredibly tough period. I am very grateful to the people I met and worked with during my second career at Ajax for what we have achieved and experienced. I now feel the need to distance myself, unwind and do other things. It does not feel right to have to make decisions about the future of this beautiful club in the coming period. Hence my decision to quit now.’
Before Ajax’s home game against Utrecht last week, fans around the Johan Cruyff Arena booed Van der Sar. #Sarout became increasingly popular on social media. Edwin van der Sar is being held responsible for Ajax’s poor season.