Edwin van der Sar Announced His Retirement As Ajax Chief Executive Officer After Seven Years With The Club

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Edwin van der Sar has vacated his position as Ajax Amsterdam’s chief executive officer after seven years with the club and disclosed the unbelievably tough period that brought about this decision.

The 2008 UEFA Champions League winner has occupied the position for seven seasons, since his appointment in 2016 before opting to depart on Tuesday, 30th of May.

His decision came shortly after the end of the Dutch League, where Ajax ended 13 points behind the league-winning Feyenoord.

Edwin van der Sar

Given their historical supremacy, this was not the kind of season many fans had hoped for. They did not even qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season.

When he waved goodbye to the club, van der Sar revealed his reasons for leaving the position.

The former Manchester United shot-stopper joined the Dutch club’s board in the 2012 campaign, and became the club’s chief executive in 2016.

Ajax had not ranked outside the top two in the Eredivisie for 14 years before the 2022-23 season when they ended 12 points behind champions Feyenoord and 6 points behind runners-up PSV Eindhoven.

They were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Champions League and lost to Union Berlin in a play-off for the Europa League.

Edwin van der Sar
Edwin van der Sar talking to a reporter

Speaking to reporters about the decision, Van der Sar said; “After almost eleven years on the board, I am exhausted. We’ve been through some very nice things, but it’s 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 need to distance myself, relax and do other things”.

He added; “It doesn’t feel good to have to make decisions about the future of this beautiful club in the coming period. Hence my decision to stop now”.

The former United goalkeeper has taken some heat in recent weeks as Ajax has underperformed on the field and fallen to third place in the Dutch League.

For the first time since 2008-09, they did not make the Champions League. It was their lowest league showing in 13 years.

They finished the season far behind champions Feyenoord despite making ten signings, including Steven Bergwijn and Calvin Bassey.

Moreover, van der Sar was already under fire after the departures of football director Marc Overmars and head coach Erik ten Hag.

Furthermore, Supervisory Board Chair Pier Eringa reaffirmed that they wanted van der Sar to stay, despite fan complaints about his performances.

Edwin van der Sar
Edwin van der Sar with the Dutch League title

Van der Sar hired Ten Hag, who led Ajax to some of its most successful seasons in recent memory, during his stint with the club.

During that time, the team won many league titles and advanced to the Champions League semifinals in 2019.

Van der Sar, who spent the majority of the 1990s playing at the Johan Cruyff Arena, has already said his goodbyes to his coworkers but he’s confident that the club’s internal changes will lead to a return to the top of Dutch football.

What’s next for Edwin van der Sar?

Edwin van der Sar

The 52-year-old will be on the lookout for new pasture as he departs his position as Ajax’s Chief Executive Officer.

Who’s Edwin van der Sar?

Edwin van der Sar is a Dutch football executive and former professional football player.

Edwin van der Sar age;

Van der Sar was born on the 29th of October 1970 in Voorhout, South Holland, Netherlands.

Edwin van der Sar’s career;

He debuted as a professional player with Ajax in the early 1990s and is widely recognized as an integral component of the club’s golden age, having won the UEFA Champions League with the club in 1995.

He played as a goalkeeper for Ajax before going to Juventus in 1999. After two years with Juve, he moved to England with Fulham and then Manchester United in 2005.

In 2008, when playing for Real Madrid, he became one of only eight players in history to win the Champions League with two different clubs.

He left the professional ranks in 2011, but he made a brief comeback in 2016 to suit up for the amateur VV Noordwijk team he had grown up supporting in the Netherlands.

He was the Netherlands’ all-time leader in caps until Wesley Sneijder surpassed him in 2017 after playing 130 times for the national team.

He won 26 major titles during his career, most of them while playing for Ajax and Manchester United, making him one of the most accomplished footballers of all time.

In the 2008–09 season, he went 1,311 minutes without allowing a goal in the league, which was a record.

In 2011, at the age of 40 years and 205 days, he became the oldest player to ever win the Premier League.

Among Van der Sar’s many individual accolades are the Best European Goalkeeper in 1995 and 2009, as well as UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009.

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