Football clubs want to halt competitions amid new Covid restrictions
The lion's share of professional football clubs wants the competitions to be suspended for the duration of the current three-week-long lockdown. They'd prefer an audience to financial compensation, AD reports after surveying the clubs in paid football.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, will debate the lockdown measures on Tuesday. The football clubs hope that parliament reverses the ban on fans in stadiums. But if the measure remains in place, the clubs want to wait out the lockdown before continuing the competitions, according to AD.
They realize that this will come with complications - the football schedule is already packed, postponing the competitions may mean playing on holidays or early in the new year, and matches have to be coordinated with teams outside the Netherlands who are also dealing with full schedules. But they feel the complications are worth it.
"You play football for the supporters, and if those supporters can't be there, then you don't play football. Point." Henk van Stee, technical director of Sparta, said to the newspaper.
"Of course there are a lot of snags, but we have to do everything we can to make playing with the public possible," Jan Willem van Dop of Go Ahead Eagles said.
Coach Erik ten Hag of Ajax also does not want to play without fans in the stands but warns that postponing matches could have other consequences. "We also have to think about whether the postponement of matches won't lead to an excessive load on players," he said to the newspaper.