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June 2021

Marc Overmars to join Arsenal as director of football according to…

by Tony Attwood

Sometimes I see a story and think, “no, another bit of made up blarney”, but this one has me intrigued.

TMW claim that Ajax Director of Football Mark Overmars has reached an agreement with Arsenal to leave his club with the Eredivisie side at the end of the season and join Arsenal as a continuing part of the change and renewal programme currently going on.

At least I think that is what they are claiming.  Here is the full report as it appears on the web site

ESCLUSIVA TMW – Ajax, Overmars via a fine stagione: accordo con l’Arsenal
Marc Overmars, futuro lontano dall’Ajax. Il direttore sportivo del club olandese a fine stagione si misurerà altrove. Deciso l’addio tra le parti per il prossimo anno. Il futuro di Overmars sarà in Premier League, accordo raggiunto con l’Arsenal per la prossima stagione. Overmars verso l’addio all’Ajax, Arsenal in pressing..

And very roughly speaking, in English


EXCLUSIVE TMW – Ajax, Overmars to leave at end of season: Arsenal contract agreed

Marc Overmars is to move away from Ajax. The Dutch club’s sports director will moved at the end of the season.  It is said that the agreement for him to leave has been reached between the relevant parties to take place next year. The future of Overmars will be in the Premier League, an agreement being reached with Arsenal for next season. Overmars will say farewell to Ajax, moving to Arsenal ….

Incidentally if your Italian is better than mine (which won’t be that hard) please provide a better translation.  Mine is rather basic.

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If you think everything about this looks suspicious I’d agree, because it comes from an Italian site and it seems to finish half way through a sentence the meaning of which I don’t get.

So what do we know of Overmars?

Having played 100 league games for Arsenal he played for Barcelona for four seasons before going into retirement and then coming out of retirement for one season in 2008/9 to play again for Go Ahead Eagles.  In the meanwhile he had become  shareholder of Go Ahead Eagles and joined the club’s board covering technical matters. 

Then in 2011 he became the youth coach of Ajax for one day per week having left his post at Go Ahead Eagles saying that he had been happy to work for them on a voluntary basis for all these years, but it was time to move on.  In 2012 he became a director of Ajax.

He co-owns a restaurant in the Netherlands town of Epe where he lives, and is also active within his family business, Overmars Vastgoed bv, which invests in commercial and residential property.  He is also part of a business with his father and brother which restores classic cars, and apparently he is one of the 500 richest people in the Netherlands.

So is this a man who wants to go back into football and move to England?

Ajax reached the Europa League final last season and of course are always considered a top team in the Netherlands.  It is said that Overmars’ name has helped recruit some top players to the club in recent years.  Maybe that is what Arsenal want him for… if they want him that is.

I would rather like to see this story coming from somewhere other than one Italian website, but it would be an interesting development IF it turns out to be true.

There is one other thing about all this – Ajax are not doing that well at the moment.  Here’s the current league table.  But maybe that is not Marc Overmars’ fault…

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 PSV Eindhoven 7 6 0 1 21 6 +15 18
2 Feyenoord 7 5 0 2 16 6 +10 15
3 Vitesse 7 4 2 1 15 7 +8 14
4 PEC Zwolle 7 4 2 1 13 10 +3 14
5 Heerenveen 7 4 2 1 12 11 +1 14
6 Ajax 7 4 1 2 15 6 +9 13
7 VVV-Venlo 7 3 3 1 10 6 +4 12
Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Feyenoord 34 26 4 4 86 25 +61 82
2 Ajax 34 25 6 3 79 23 +56 81
3 PSV Eindhoven 34 22 10 2 68 23 +45 76

Maybe it is a false alarm.  We shall just have to wait and see.

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13 comments to Marc Overmars to join Arsenal as director of football according to…

  • Jax

    This story’s been around since the end of last season (Independent) and is also being reported around the media (& Arseblog) today, mostly quoting your source.
    Would be a very good appointment for us IMO.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    How so very quaint . How so very European .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    …very continental ….

  • This for sure will be a welcome development if true.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And as for Genetics…some people don’t’ t hear ( nor understand) to well.

    Wife : ” I cannot find my car keys.”
    Husband: ” It’s in your jeans.”
    Wife. : ” Don’t bring my family into this !”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Please , could someone tell me who the last prominent DOF was in the EPL ?
    Did he do a good job ? Whatever happened to him ?
    I an asking as I’m getting rather forgetful in my twilight years !

  • Gord

    The last prominent Duh Of Football? Well, Chris Waddle was quoted by Marca today saying that England has too many coaches. So perhaps he is the last prominent Duh Of Football?

  • Jax

    Is it in the job description to be ‘prominent’?

  • WalterBroeckx

    The rumour is also mentioned in the Facebook group of Arsenal Netherlands and of the so far 10 reactions not one is positive to be honest….

  • nicky

    He was a fine Arsenal player, who scored the most amazing goals and gave great pleasure to all who watched him.
    But has he got his badges? 😉

  • Gord


    The Treasure of Sierra Madre


  • Brickfields Gunners

    Since I’ve not got a satisfactory answer ,(Gord ‘s reply was funny though !), I found this on –

    1. A director of football is a senior management figure at a football club, most commonly in Europe.

    2. The exact nature of the role is often unclear and causes much debate in the sports media.

    3. -acts as an intermediary between the manager and the board and may relieve pressure on a manager by handling aspects away from day-to-day coaching, allowing a manager to focus on on-pitch performance.

    4.- may also help to stabilise the club – many examples exist of director stepping in as a caretaker manager on the departure of the manager.

    5.– often an experienced football figure – may also positively advise a less experienced manager or the board of a less well developed club.

    6.- In contrast, there are many examples of tensions arising between director and manager,….

    7.- In general, directors of football are not shareholders in the club, or hold a nominal stake. This is opposed to other members of the board with whom the director of football will sit.

    While I have much admiration for Marc Overmars , for all the respect that he has accorded to the Arsenal (unlike that other moron who joined with him on the same day, and left with him to Barca on the same day too .), I don’t really think that there is a niche for him in our set up.

    I’m not sure what he would bring to the table or how he ,or some other DOF would enhance the present system .I may be wrong , so please do enlighten me .

  • Gord

    Thanks Brickfields.