Dramatic season is not without consequences! Edwin van der Sar stops at Ajax


Edwin van der Sar (52) is calling it quits as general manager of Ajax. The 130-time international, who took office as the biggest boss of the Amsterdam football stronghold in 2016, no longer sees a future for himself as Ajax helmsman at the end of a dramatic football season.

Mike Verweij and Marcel van der Kraan / De Telegraaf

Van der Sar therefore keeps the credit to himself and leaves. The former top goalkeeper has been under heavy fire in Amsterdam for the past year and a half. Van der Sar was heavily blamed for the sporting collapse, partly due to the departure of first Marc Overmars as director of football affairs and then head coach Erik ten Hag. With a third place after Sunday’s loss at FC Twente, Ajax had its worst season in fourteen years.

Van der Sar did not want to cause greater unrest in the period when Ajax still had a chance to win a ticket for qualification for the Champions League. But shortly after that failure too, he took the plunge for himself.

Before the match against FC Utrecht, Ajax said goodbye to Maarten Stekelenburg and Van der Sar was treated to a lashing concert by part of its own supporters, while #sarout became increasingly popular on social media. It seemed as if the general manager was held solely responsible for the lousy season that the team from Amsterdam went through. He was also charged with stopping the arrival of Peter Bosz, with whom he clashed in 2017 around the departure of the trainer.

Jute cup

Being the head of Jut all the time was becoming increasingly difficult for Van der Sar. And people in his immediate vicinity advised him to close the door at Ajax behind him. Especially because since the arrival of chief sports officer Maurits Hendriks, pushed down his throat, he had less and less to say and noticed that the hockey player was preying on his job.

Because a general manager is only as good as his last match and that the washing of the ears is at FC Twente, many supporters will be happy with Van der Sar’s departure. With this they do the former goalkeeper of, among others, Ajax, Juventus, Manchester United and the Orange short, because he, together with Michael Kinsbergen and Menno Geelen, collected an un-Dutch amount for Ziggo’s main sponsorship. He also formed a great trinity with Overmars and Ten Hag.

Transfer market

Hundreds of millions of euros were earned for Ajax in the Champions League and on the transfer market. And everyone still has the images of the partying Overmars and Van der Sar, including Overmars’ belly slide after the away match at Juventus, clearly on the retina. In the end, during the European dream trip in the Champions League, Ajax unfortunately stranded in the semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur.

After Overmars’ departure due to transgressive behavior, Van der Sar already considered giving up. The friendship between the two directors came to an abrupt end, because Overmars felt that Van der Sar had stabbed him in the back. The choice of the general manager to leave the position of the resigned director of football affairs unfilled for more than a year turned out to be disastrous. With technical manager Gerry Hamstra, his right-hand man, financial director Susan Lenderink and Van der Sar, almost 113 million euros were flushed down the drain last transfer summer and the seed was planted for last season, in which Ajax narrowly finished third and secured Europa League football.

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