…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
On Tuesday, May 30, Edwin van der Sar voluntarily resigned as the Chief Executive Officer of Ajax, a prominent Dutch club.
Van der Sar, a former Manchester United goalkeeper, joined Ajax’s board in 2012 and took on the role of CEO in 2016.
Ajax’s Recent Performance and Van der Sar’s Resignation
During Van der Sar’s tenure as the 52-year-old Dutch football administrator, Ajax had been a dominant force in the Eredivisie, the top-tier league in the Netherlands.
However, in the 2022-2023 season, Ajax failed to maintain their previous level of success.
The team finished in third place, a disappointing result that meant they would not qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2009.
This setback comes after Ajax had been the reigning Eredivisie champions for the past two seasons.
Continued Hopes in the Europa League
Although Ajax missed out on the Champions League, they still have a chance to compete in the Europa League next season.
However, they will need to navigate the play-offs to secure their spot in the competition.
Van der Sar’s Reasons for Resignation
In his announcement regarding his resignation from Ajax, Van der Sar expressed mixed feelings.
He acknowledged the wonderful experiences he had shared with the club but also highlighted the immense challenges faced during his time as CEO.
Citing the need for distance, rest, and pursuing other endeavors, Van der Sar explained that he did not feel comfortable making decisions about the future of the club in the upcoming period, leading to his decision to step down.
Ajax’s Recent Performance and European Campaign
The 2022-2023 season proved to be a difficult one for Ajax, as they finished 12 points behind first-placed Feyenoord and six points behind second-placed PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie.
This marked a departure from their usual top-two finishes in the league, which they had achieved for the previous 14 years.
Moreover, Ajax faced disappointment in European competitions as well.
They were unable to advance beyond the group stages in the Champions League and suffered a defeat in the Europa League play-off to Germany’s Union Berlin.
Moving Forward for Ajax
With Edwin van der Sar’s departure, Ajax will need to undergo a transition in leadership and strategize for the upcoming season.
The club will aim to regain their dominance in the Eredivisie and pursue success in European competitions once again.