Edwin van der Sar is stepping down as director general of Ajax after the team finished a disappointing third in the Dutch league, missing out on a Champions League berth for next season.
Van der Sar, a former goalkeeper for teams including Ajax and Manchester United, as well as the Dutch national team, had been a member of the board of the Amsterdam club since late 2012 and director general since 2016. His contract ran until mid-2025.
“After nearly 11 years on the board, I’m exhausted,” Van der Sar said in a statement on Tuesday. “It doesn’t feel good to have to make imminent decisions about the future of this beautiful club. Hence my decision to stop now.”
No successor was named. The club said the supervisory board has asked Van der Sar to continue work until August.
“We wanted Edwin to stay, but he had made his decision. We have to respect that,” supervisory board chairman Pier Eringa said. “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.”
Ajax fired coach Alfred Schreuder in January after a disappointing start to the season and appointed former defender John Heitinga to replace him until the end of the season. Schreuder had been hired to replace Erik ten Hag, who moved to Manchester United last year after guiding Ajax to Dutch league titles and the Champions League semifinals in 2019.
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