Edwin van der Sar, the CEO of Ajax, has revealed how he turned down the opportunity to relocate to England before agreeing to a two-year contract extension with the Dutch champions.
On Friday, the former goalie, who was appointed CEO of the Johan Cruyff Arena for the first time in 2016, agreed to a new contract that will last until 2025.
Van der Sar’s efforts at Ajax, where he continues to nurture young players’ potential and sell players for enormous profits, have not gone unnoticed.
As part of their internal rebuild, Manchester United, where the Dutchman’s playing career ended in 2011, reportedly wanted to hire him. This year, the Red Devils have already taken Ajax players Lisandro Martinez and Antony, as well as manager Erik ten Hag, from them.
As Todd Boehly continues to reshape the Blues in his image, Chelsea also kept an eye on Van der Sar.
But in the end, Ajax persuaded Van der Sar to stay in his native country. The 51-year-old said in a club statement: “A lot has happened in the last ten years at Ajax. In these years, we have grown with the club in many ways. The international recognition has, mostly due to the results of the first team, grown substantially. But there is also an amazing organisation behind that success.
“Our goal is to become a structural part of the international top teams. Starting 2024, the design of the European tournaments will change, and we want to compete yearly in the renewed Champions League. That journey is not at an end, and I want to keep contributing to that process. Every day I get to work with enthusiastic co-workers who also want to keep raising the bar. Not only with the first team, but also in the office, the youth academy, and the Ajax Women.
“The stadium is always packed and the growth in sales of various Ajax kits to young and old, not only national but also international, is unreal. We feel the support of our fans home and away. Enough reasons to keep putting my heart and soul in this club the coming years.”