After the Dutch government banned all football games in the country until September 1, it was clear that the season would not be over. Important questions came up: champions, European Cup, relegation, promotion. There were answers on Friday – and they will probably entail legal replay.
Until the forced stop due to the corona pandemic, the Eredivisie was extremely exciting. Ajax Amsterdam and AZ from Alkmaar led a head-to-head race, which was decided at the “Green Table”. There will be no master – for the first time since World War II. League leader Ajax is however reported for the play-offs of the Champions League. AZ joins the premier class in the second qualifying round, while cup finalist Feyenoord Rotterdam, PSV Eindhoven and Willem II Tilburg start in the Europa League.
Bitter EL-Aus for Utrecht
It is really bitter for the second cup finalist from Utrecht. At the end of the season, he was three points behind in sixth place in the table, but had only played one game less than fifth in the table Willem II – and the much better goal difference. The club does not want to put up with the fact that it is now completely empty. Utrecht has already announced a legal review and accuses the association of “lack of transparency and objectivity”. Regardless of Utrecht’s situation, it is also the case that the association (KNVB) followed the UEFA guidelines when it issued the European Cup tickets.
Disappointment and anger in the lower house
There was still the question of relegation – and there is also displeasure. An increase in the league to 20 teams had previously been ruled out, so there were only two options: Either the bottom lights ADO Den Haag and RKC Waalwijk are relegated and Cambuur and De Graafschap ascend – or there is no relegation or relegation. It became the second variant – to the disappointment of the second division.
Most of the professional clubs would have preferred a different solution. According to Dutch media reports, 16 clubs are said to have voted in favor of promotion and relegation, while nine opposed and nine abstained. So the KNVB decided – and promoted candidate Cambuur, who had a whopping eleven points ahead of third place in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie eight games before the end, against the palm.
“It’s the biggest shame in the history of Dutch sport.” – Cambuurs trainer Henk de Jong
Coach Henk de Jong spoke of the “greatest shame in the history of Dutch sport”. The 55-year-old pointed out that his club had led the second division since October and that he deserved to be promoted. If it is up to de Jong, then the last word has not yet been spoken on this matter. “I wouldn’t leave it like that and leave it to the best lawyers out there.” Managing Director Ard de Graaf also confirmed that legal steps are being examined. “If there is only a one percent chance, we will take it. For us, promotion to the Eredivisie is the same as the Champions League for Ajax.”
In De Graafschap the anger was apparently not that great, there was a different feeling there. CEO-Hans Martijn Ostendorp spoke of an “incredibly disappointing” decision and announced that he would attack again in the coming season.