Marc Overmars has quit his role as Ajax’s director of football after being found guilty of sending “inappropriate messages” to female co-workers.

In a recent case of an unhealthy work environment, former Arsenal winger Marc Overmars has pleaded guilty to sending “inappropriate messages” to female co-workers over a long period of time. The situation has led to his departure as the director of football for Ajax, sending shockwaves across Dutch football.

A former Premier League champion with Arsenal, Overmars had been a member of the Ajax hierarchy since 2012. During his time at the club, the Dutchman oversaw Ajax’s dominance in Dutch football. The club from Amsterdam won four league titles during his nine-and-a-half-year spell, with the most recent title coming in the 2020/21 campaign.

With 51 points on the board, Ajax are en route for yet another title triumph this season. But it appears Overmars’s time at the club is already up, with the 48-year-old announcing his resignation in an official statement.

“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,” said Overmars in a statement, as cited by The Guardian.

Overmars’s forced departure from Ajax could leave a massive dent in an otherwise flourishing career that saw him work alongside some of the most gifted coaches in Europe, including Erik ten Hag and Peter Bosz, while overseeing the development of star players such as Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Hakim Ziyech and Donny van de Beek, among many others.

Reacting to the event, Ajax said “a series of inappropriate messages sent to several female colleagues over an extended period of time” led to the decision. The conduct, described as “extremely painful for everyone” by supervisory board chair Leen Meijaard, will see Overmars leave with immediate effect.

The Eredivisie giants are yet to appoint anyone as the replacement, but Overmars’s departure could certainly affect the long-term future of manager Erik ten Hag. He has been courted by several clubs across Europe, and with the likes of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain actively searching for a new manager, it won’t be surprising to see the Dutchman leave the club at the end of the season, ushering the end of an era for Ajax.

(Featured image courtesy of Gzen92/Wikimedia)

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