Overmars in quick return with Antwerp role after Dutch disgrace

March 22 – Belgian club Antwerp have named Marc Overmars as their new technical director, just weeks after the Dutchman exited Ajax Amsterdam under a cloud.

Overmars (pictured) succeeds Luciano D’Onofrio, who had been convicted of fraud.

The Dutchman’ ignominious exit from Ajax came after he resigned from his role for sending “inappropriate messages” to female colleagues, a situation that the club CEO Edwin van der Sar labelled as “appalling”.

On Monday, Antwerp revealed Overmars the person to lead the club forward. Overmars said that he was “ashamed” of his behaviour at Ajax, and promised that “this won’t happen again.”

He said: “I’ve finished that period.  I’m 48 years old and then you don’t have much time to lose. We didn’t talk about that during the contract negotiations. A new beginning has been made. It’s behind me.”

Antwerp view their new employee’s past as a “private matter”.

Antwerp manager Sven Jaecques said that Overmars’ values were a match with the values of the club, but that Antwerp had not especially talked to female employees.

He said: “We have talked about it.  As adults. Not specifically with the women of the club, but it has been discussed, of course. Everything has been discussed. But of course, it is mainly about football.”

The former Arsenal, Barcelona and Holland winger held the position of Ajax director for ten years. He was credited in part for Ajax’s recent domestic and European successes. Antwerp boss Paul Gheyssens hopes that Overmars can lead Antwerp to a domestic title in the short term. The club is currently third in the league table.

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