Premier division clubs hit by recession

Last year’s league winners AZ Alkmaar is the only club in the premier football league with more money to spend this year, the AD reports on Monday.

Six of the 18 clubs have smaller budgets and the rest must keep their spending on an even keel.
In total, the premier league clubs have €408.2m to spend this year, €1.1m more than in the 2008-2009 season. But the increase is due entirely to AZ, the paper says.
The budget at Rotterdam club Feyenoord has been cut by almost €8m.
Several clubs, such as Groningen, have been hit by sponsors going bankrupt. The bankruptcy of a northern building company cost Groningen €25,000 and Heerenveen €35,000, the paper says.
‘Six months ago, everyone acted as if the crisis would not hit football,’ Heracles chairman Jan Smit told the paper. ‘But perhaps what is happening is not that bad. Football players’ salaries have always been too high.’
The Dutch football association KNVB said it saw no reason to panic and confirmed that clubs are spending a smaller percentage of their budgets on paying players.

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