FC Twente refuses compromise; fighting relegation in court
On Tuesday FC Twente decided to refuse a proposal made by other professional clubs proposal for a compromise. The clubs, united under ECV, proposed that the Enschede club drops the lawsuit filed on Friday and opens in the Jupiler League next season, in exchange for keeping several million euros in media funds, the Volkskrant reports.
FC Twente decided to refuse this compromise and will continue with the lawsuit to fight its relegation to the Jupiler League in court.
"The clubs would like to quickly clarify the matter and therefore made Twente this offer, but unfortunately they refused it", KNVB director Bert van Oostveen said to the Volkskrant on Tuesday after a meeting in Zeist. "Now it stays a lingering case, which is bad for football." To RTV Oost he added that the proposal was "an excellent option" for FC Twente. "It is their right to choose, but I warned them that it can have a negative impact."
According to the Volkskrant, the first division clubs were initially against FC Twente joining the Eredivisie, but agreed after the KNVB agreed to expand the promotional scheme to two clubs. Now that Twente may be relegated back to the Jupiler league, De Graafschap's position is also uncertain.
The KNVB still plans to present next year's fixture on June 14th. If the matter hasn't been cleared up yet, a schedule will be used in which FC Twente and De Graafschap's places are exchangable. The KNVB also discussed an option to play the league with 19 clubs, but according to Van Oosteveen that option was "not considered desirable at this time".
And in the mean time, all De Graafschap can do is wait and see what happens. "Today we were hoping for clarity, but the chaos only increased", De Graafschap commercial director Martine Zuil said to the Volkskrant after Tuesday's meeting. "The Eredivisie clubs asked FC Twente to withdraw Friday's lawsuit, but Twente does not want to. Meanwhile we can't do anything with a view of next season, because we don't know in what division we'll play."
During Tuesday's meeting it was also decided to add relegation as a punishment to the license regulation. Before the license committee could only decide between a fine and revocation of the club's license. In the case of FC Twente, the KNVB license committee decided to revoke the club's license, but immediately issue a license for the lowest professional level, the Jupiler league. The new rule will take effect in the 2017-2018 season.