Eindhoven council under Brussels fire over PSV land deal

Football club PSV was given unacceptable state support when the city council helped in the purchase of land under its stadium in Eindhoven, local media quote a preliminary European Commission report as saying.

PSV sold the land to the council in 2011 for €48m and then leased it back.

However, according to the Eindhovens Dagblad, Brussels says the council did not act as a commercial party and has therefore broken rules on state support. In addition, there are doubts about the way the land was valued, the paper says.

The city council says it will appeal against the conclusions to the Luxembourg court. In a statement the council said ‘the decision and way the European Commission worked was premature, legally incorrect and careless’.

Five cases

Earlier this month it emerged the commission is looking into possible breaches of EU competition rules covering state support at five Dutch football clubs.

As well as PSV, the deals involve Nijmegen club NEV, MVV of Maastricht, Willem II of Tilburg and FC Den Bosch. All five clubs had support from their local authority in 2010 and 2011 without registering it with Brussels. Most of the deals involved land or stadium purchases.