The concerns of the Dutch professional clubs were not diminished during the coronapers conference on Tuesday: only if there is risk level 2 — and this is not the case for the time being — the public could return to the stadiums. Jan de Jong, director of interest association Eredivisie CV, fears the worst.
The current lockdown has been officially extended to 2 March. The chance that the audience will be able to come back to the stadiums this season has therefore become a lot smaller. “With every match that a club plays without an audience, the financial need increases. This has major consequences for this season, but possibly also for next season,” says De Jong to De Cceit.
Prior to the season, the clubs had assumed that in January they could return to the stadiums. “A number of clubs had been budgeted from January to play with limited audience or even already in a full stadium. Between 40 and 60 percent of the income is usually from stadium visits. All clubs now have problems”, says De Jong.
The director of the Eredivisie CV sincerely hopes that at least a few matches can be played with the public this season, so that potential stadium visitors do not drop out permanently. “Football and supporters, that love must be maintained. That is why we are so committed to being able to play with the audience this season, even if only a few times. This is essential towards next season”, says De Jong, who also realizes that this is not possible at the moment. “Football is not outside society, we are not blind and deaf. But the problems are increasing.”