‘Put salary ceiling on some football clubs’

Dutch professional football clubs which have had government money to bail them out financially should impose a ceiling on players’ salaries, says Ernst & Young football analyst Aron de Jong in Wednesday’s Telegraaf.

‘Some football club managers work in a very amateur way,’ De Jong told the paper. ‘Businessmen who run big companies come up with all sorts of wierd constructions to keep their football club going.’
A number of Dutch professional clubs have been given indirect government help because of financial problems, De Jong says.
‘Formally, they are not supposed to get state support but if a council buys a football stadium for €10m and sells it to the club a few years later for €1, I consider that state support,’ he said.
Since 2004, clubs have not been allowed to spend more than 70% of their budget on salaries.
De Jong said he favours introducing the prime minister’s salary of €180,000 a year as the basic pay for players, with performance-related bonuses for those who excell.
‘Public tv presentors and housing corporation bosses are under fire over high pay levels and I see no difference with football players at clubs kept alive by government money,’ he said.
Ernst & Young has had a unit focusing on football clubs since 2002.
ADO Den Hague, NAC Breda and Arnhem’s Vitesse are among the clubs which have had local authority investment.

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