Three clubs in Dutch football are in poor financial shape, the KNVB announced on Wednesday morning. Based on their interim results, ADO Den Haag, Fortuna Sittard and FC Emmen are listed in Category 1.
Clubs listed in Category 1 must work on their financial recovery and gain Category 2 status within three years. The KNVB will investigate each case and set-up a plan to clean up each club’s financial difficulties.
The report, compared with earlier this year, is a vast improvement. In January, five clubs were listed in Category 1 and were put under scrutiny by the organisation. Helmond Sport and FC Dordrecht were then also listed as being in financial danger but the clubs reported last month to now being classed in the second category. The now-defunct SC Veendam, who went bankrupt last month, is removed from the list, while FC Emmen have dropped into Category 1 from the last report.
Mark Boetekees, who is responsible for the KNVB report is pleased with the progress. “It’s good to see that clubs now realise that a good and consistent financial policy is important. They must continue to work on financial recovery to ensure that their future is secure.”
In total they are 23 of the 34 professional clubs in the safe category 2. These are: AZ, FC Den Bosch, SC Cambuur, FC Dordrecht FC Eindhoven, Excelsior, Feyenoord, De Graafschap, Helmond Sport Heracles Almelo, MVV Maastricht, NAC Breda, NEC, RKC Waalwijk Roda JC, Sparta Rotterdam, Telstar, FC Twente, FC Utrecht, Vitesse, VVV-Venlo, Willem II and PEC Zwolle.
Eight clubs are in excellent financial condition and are listed in Category 3: Ajax, Almere City FC, Go Ahead Eagles, FC Groningen, Heerenveen, FC Oss, PSV and FC Volendam.
All clubs have to submit their figures to the federation for the year 2013/14 by the next financial assessment, which will be on June 15.
Frank de Boer’s Ajax resumed their place at the top of the pile at home to Heracles and Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen was defeated by Groningen to end a four-game winning streak.
FC Utrecht 1 (Toornstra 71)
ADO Den Haag 0
The sun was shining in Utrecht this afternoon, the match between Utrecht and ADO did not. It was a poor contest narrowly won by a 71st minute Jens Toornstra strike, against his old club. Both goalkeepers were hardly tested throughout, but unfortunately for Utrecht stopper Robbin Ruiter went down with a groin injury that looked serious and he may be absent for some time.
FC Groningen 3 (Raitala 3OG, Bacuna 42P, de Leeuw 87)
Heerenveen 1 (Mareček 70)
Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen side made the worst possible start when Finnish defender Jukka Raitala put through his own net after three minutes, before a Leandro Bacuna spot-kick three minutes before the break extended their advantage. Substitute Lukas Mareček pulled a goal back in the 70th minute but midfielder Michael De Leeuw overhead kick in the penalty area cemented the win for Groningen with three minutes left.
NEC Nijmegen 1 (Conboy 19)
AZ Alkmaar 1 (Maher 17)
After four straight losses for NEC a well deserved draw at home to relegation threatened AZ was a welcome result. Hot property Adam Maher, rumoured to leave AZ in the summer, scored a lovely solo effort on 17 minutes from outside the box to fire past Gabor Babos in goal. Two minutes later, NEC were level with Kevin Conboy hit a wonderful curling free-kick straight home. NEC got themselves in trouble on the hour when Nick van der Velden stupidaly kicked out at Giliano Wijnaldum. AZ had a golden opportunity spurned to take all three points in injury time when Aron Jóhannsson hit his shot straight into the arms of Babos.
League leaders Ajax are now back to three points ahead of PSV and Vitesse has they turned over Heracles Almelo 4-0 although having just ten men for the majority of the game. Ajax’s Danish midfielder Lasse Schöne gave them an early lead after 13 minutes after a one-two with Kolbeinn Sigþórsson.
Heracles did come back into the game without scoring a goal but forced enough pressure on Kenneth Vermeer, so much so that he found himself having an early bath. The pacey Geoffrey Castillion outpaced Toby Alderweireld and was through on goal but Vermeer rushed out and brought the striker down on the edge of the box. On 48 minutes, Vermeer was sent off immediately and he will now miss Ajax’s crunch title clash with PSV next weekend.
Ajax did not panic and found themselves two goals to the good four minutes later. Icelandic striker Sigþórsson smashed a close range shot against the crossbar and latched on the rebound for 2-0. On 75 minutes, Ryan Babel smashed home a Schöne cross and Christian Eriksen finished the rout six minutes from time.
FC Groningen today announced that Erwin van de Looi will replace Robert Maaskant as head coach at the end of the season, he has signed a two-year contract. It was also stated that Dick Lukkein would be his assistant.
Van de Looi has worked his way up the ranks at Groningen after started as youth team coach in 2008 until 2010 when he became then head coach Peter Huistra’s assistant. After Huistra’s departure he then moved on to Maaskant’s assistant but after last month’s contract negoications, Maaskant has decided to leave.
As a player, Van de Looi was a player and started at the youth academy of Vitesse Arnhem, and went on to make his professional debut at Den Bosch in 1991. Then followed five years at Vitesse, three season at NAC Breda, a yearover in Germany for the Stuttgarter Kickers and finished at FC Groningen. He retired at 30 after sustained injuries.
Feyenoord’s dream of their first Eredivisie title since 1999 was left in tatters on Saturday night after Marco Van Basten’s underperforming Heerenveen side hit two late goals to take a 2-0 win at Abe Lenstra Stadion.
Heerenveen 2 (Finnbogason 85, El Ghannassy 89)
In a poor first half, it was the hosts who made the best chance – Serbian playmaker Filip Djuricic forcing Erwin Mulder to produce a decent save. It was the Serb with another superb solo effort just shortly after the break nearly put Heerenveen ahead, but, after a mazy run, the ball smashed off the post and the visitors were able to clear their lines.
The match looked to end in a goalless draw, but belatedly came to life just five minutes from time. Hot prospect Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, a central defender, made a surging run into box and clipped the ball onto hitman Alfred Finnbogason who put the hosts 1-0 up. Moments later, Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord were like a team possessed and seemed likely to pull one back. Wesley Verhoek with a great effort from the edge of the box but Swedish goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt was well positioned to make the save.
With the game heading towards stoppage time, the hosts provided one final flourish to ensure the three points. Belgian Yassine El Ghanassy, on loan from Gent, slotted the ball home from the edge of the area to complete a 2-0 win.
The result leaves Feyenoord in third.
HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)
FC Twente 1 (Brama 83)
NAC Breda 1 (van der Weg 50)
Twente captain Wout Brama hit a long range shot, although deflected, past NAC ‘keeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar to clinch a point for his side and keep their hopes of playing avoiding the Europa League playoffs alive. Kenny van der Weg had put the visitors ahead just after the break with after a messy scramble from a free-kick.
Twente sit in joint fifth but need to make up six points on Vitesse (play PEC Zwolle at home today) to clinch a top four place to gain an automatic Europa League berth.
HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)
Willem II 1 (Haemhouts 26)
FC Groningen 2 (Bacuna 66P, Texeira 72)
Willem II are routed to the bottom of the league and despite a tremendously spirited performance against Groningen on Saturday, they looked doomed to be relegated.
The home side took the through Robbie Haemhouts on 26 minutes after some great link up play with Virgil Misidjan and Kees van Buuren. Willem pressed for a second and looked certain to finish with a victory but in the second half, Groningen turned it around. A corner was swung in on 65 minutes and Willem’s Luxembourg international striker Aurélien Joachim got caught with a dubious handball and Leandro Bacuna smashed home the resulting penalty to tie things up.
The Tilburg side must be upset after dominating the game and they were even more so a few minutes later. Bacuna placed a wonderful cross from the right onto the head of Uruguayan David Texeira who planted a gliding header into the corner of the goal. You have to feel sorry for Willem as they lost this game when they should have won it comfortably on the basis of their play.
Willem sit with only 17 points, nine adrift from safety but only four away from VVV Venlo in the relgation play-off position.
HIGHLIGHTS (in Dutch)
FC Utrecht 2 (Duplan 5, de Kogel 16)
VVV Venlo 1 (Linssen 37)
Utrecht sit comfortable in sixth after two early first half goals settled their game with 17th placed VVV Venlo. After only 5 minutes Édouard Duplan got on the scoresheet from a corner. Belgian Jan Wuytens smashed a header onto the crossbar and Frenchman Duplan knocked home the rebound.
Venlo’s problems were made worse on 16 minutes when striker Leon de Kogel grabbed Utrecht’s second after a horrendous blunder from the VVV defence. Young on-loan defensive pairing of Kaj Ramsteijn (from Feyenoord) and Nils Röseler (from Twente) tried to play the ball in their own box but de Kogel pounced to place the ball into Finnish goalkeeper Niki Mäenpää’s goal. It was a horrendous blunder by Röseler that displays the troubles that Venlo has suffered this season.
Bryan Linssen grabbed a first half consolation after a wicked cross from Oğuzhan Türk was hit by Robert Cullen. Cullen’s shot was saved but Linssen showed his instincts to force the ball home at the second attempt.