“The losses are considerable, but not alarming,” says Job Gulikers, who conducted research together with Willem de Boer. “The clubs are lucky that the football fans are extremely loyal.”
According to the KNVB and the umbrella organization Eredivisie CV, the researchers are drawing the wrong conclusions. They say that the eighteen Eredivisie clubs are jointly heading for an operational loss of 150 million euros if season ticket holders and sponsors want to have the money back for all matches that they could not see in the stadium this season.
According to the KNVB, the suggested solution, selling players, is also not realistic. “That’s the same if you ask the Rijksmuseum: sell the Night Watch, but at the same time expect everyone to keep coming to the museum en masse. Or ask KLM: sell your planes, but keep flying ”, according to the football association. “You have to maintain quality to bind fans and sponsors to you. Moreover, it is very doubtful whether there is a market for it, ”said the association, which would like to enter into consultation with the researchers.
The previous season was cut short in March due to the corona pandemic. The turnover of the clubs decreased by about 50 million euros, from 575 million euros in 2018-2019 to 525 million. Thanks to the NOW scheme and transfer proceeds, traditionally an important source of income for Dutch football, eleven clubs ended up in the black. The clubs’ total equity even increased last year, according to the researchers.
“When the football industry came up with the Delta Plan last year, there was fear that the transfer market would collapse,” says Gulikers. “That turns out to be better. Anyway, corona or not, it is a fact that most clubs have a shaky financial base due to low equity capital and the high dependence on transfers. ”
According to the researchers, the total turnover in the Eredivisie will decrease by about 100 million euros this season. “That is really substantial, but the clubs will then receive about 50 million in NOW money,” says Gulikers, who assumes that supporters will also remain loyal to their club next season. “Because the end of the tunnel is approaching.”