It was with some surprise that most of the clubs of the top two Dutch leagues received the announcement that the season would be ending at the point it was stopped and that no club would be promoted or relegated, that way obviously generating criticism from the most affected clubs…
UNPRECEDENTED AND RASH DECISION?
Since the international pandemic crisis burst a lot has been discussed regarding the possibility of the return of the sporting competitions in a timely manner in order to conclude the respective seasons.
On one side, we have broad support from people who believe it is essential to end the seasons so that there are champions, clubs qualified to the European competitions, clubs relegated and clubs promoted and besides that, the conclusion of the season would also allow some more financial and newsworthy return for the clubs.
On the other side, there are people who defend that no economical aspects should overlap health and human lives which means concluding the season would be a great risk for the athletes, staff and other people involved who are necessary for football matches to be played.
Now, the Dutch FA announced that the remainder of the season wouldn’t be played and that things will end as they are, after the announcement of the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte that stated sporting events in the country would remain suspended until September 1st.
Naturally, there were clubs that were more settled with it than others with that decision, taking into consideration their current position in the standings and chaos seems to have installed.
ABSENCES OF PROMOTIONS AND RELEGATIONS GENERATES CHAOS
Without the assignment of titles this season, it is likely that AZ Alkmaar weren’t very satisfied taking into consideration that they were away from the fight for the title for many years and they were currently with the same points as Ajax at the top of the league table. Still, this decision means they will have a guaranteed spot in the next Champions League and the financial return that will generate should be enough to calm down the modest Dutch club.
But there are clubs who are extremely annoyed by this decision, highlighting the case of FC Utrecht. The club was on the final of the league cup and they would ensure access to the Europa League in case they won the competition, and even in the Eredivisie they were only 3 points away from the European spots.
TEMPORADA ENCERRADA! Segundo imprensa internacional, a Associação de Futebol da Holanda, junto com os clubes, decidiu que o campeonato não será retomado e que não haverá campeão e nem rebaixados nesta temporada. As vagas em torneios europeus será com base na classificação atual. pic.twitter.com/WvrBkxQ0Ok
— Esporte Interativo (de 🏠) (@Esp_Interativo) April 24, 2020
The club already announced that they don’t accept this decision and they will appeal in court and to UEFA in the sense of trying to seek justice. This situation also has some other chapters regarding clubs’ promotions and relegations, since the decision was not promoting or relegation any clubs from the top two divisions of Dutch football.
Well, if ADO Den Haag or RKC Waalwijk can celebrate because they were practically destined to be relegated from the Eredivisie, and the opposite happens with Cambuur or De Graafschap that were in the top two spots of the 2nd division and seemed to be on their way to the Eredivisie.
Cambuur was in the lead of the competition with 11 more points than the 3rd place – the first team that would not achieve promotion – with 9 matches left to be played and only a catastrophe would prevent them from celebrating promotion. The club’s manager, Henk de Jong, thinks this is the “biggest disgrace in the history of Dutch football”, complaining about the lack of common sense of the people responsible for this decision after UEFA requested fair decisions.
DOES IT MAKE ANY SENSE?
If the decision of ending the season can be considered acceptable taking into consideration the Dutch government shouldn’t allow football matches to be played until September 1st, the option of not promoting or relegating clubs makes a lot less sense, especially considering the situations on the top two divisions.
With two clubs from the Eredivisie very far from the others and close to mathematical doom, and two other teams isolated at the top of the 2nd division, it seems that it would be more reasonable to relegate the 2 clubs from the Eredivisie and promote Cambuur and De Graafschap.
Utrecht anunciando que vai à Justiça Esportiva e à UEFA contra a federação: "É inaceitável que a copa nacional, que só estava a um jogo de ser concluída, seja completamente ignorada e não avaliada, nos critérios sobre qual clube tem direito a vaga em torneios europeus". https://t.co/QKF1Sh16Xw
— Espreme a Laranja (@espremealaranja) April 24, 2020
Apparently, the decision of the Dutch FA wasn’t that and that has been causing complete chaos in the world of Dutch football that feels this was a hasty decision at a time where many other leagues are considering their return in approximately 1 month.
Playing matches behind closed doors should continue to be a potential scenario, but the Dutch FA tried to make an easier and more comfortable decision to close things down and not declare champions or promote and relegate clubs.
All of this seems to be a decision that could be considered acceptable in a few months, and even then, the issue of promotions and relegations would be doubtful, but making it at this stage seems relatively rushed and maybe it was better to wait a couple more weeks and wait to see how things would unfold in the other European leagues…