Galgenwaard stadium (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Victor van Werkhooven) - Credit: Galgenwaard stadium (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Victor van Werkhooven)
Utrecht lost €20 mil. on football stadium; Labour chair attacked on free tickets
Utrecht has lost more than 20 million euros in the financial debacle surrounding FC Utrecht's Galgenwaard stadium and the municipality had decided to withdraw from the mess. PvdA chairman Hans Spekman, however, is ignoring the VVD's calls for him to hand in his free season tickets for life. Utrecht has closed a 6 million euro transaction with Rabobank and statium owner Memid Galgenwaard BV in which the municipality is selling its claim to Rabobank, NU reports. The sale of the claim brings the total loss to Utrecht to about 20 million euros. The municipality's claim comes from a 25 million euro loan to Memid Investments in 2003. The municipality made this loan to Memid to prevent FC Utrecht going bankrupt. With the money Memid could take over and finish construction on the half-built stadium. But this plan failed when Memid Investments went bankrupt in 2011. "It was an expensive lesson. In hindsight, the 25 million euro loan was more a donation of more than 20 million", the D66 said on Monday. "It cost us a lot of money, but given the circumstances, I am satisfied that at least the financial involvement has ended", said VVD alderman Kees Geldof. As alderman Spekman close the deal for the 25 million euro loan on behalf of the city administration. At the time he was given the life long season ticket as a reward for his efforts in keeping FC Utrecht from crashing. He is now refusing to give the ticket back. "The city council of Utrecht then weighed all the interests and approved a plan to preserve FC Utrecht for its inhabitants. If it were up to the VVD, D66 and SP, Utrecht would no longer have had a professional football club", Spekman said to the Telegraaf. "That the rescue plan was not without financial risk, was from the very beginning made clear to the council."