‘Half of Eredivisie football clubs rely on external finance’

Half of the Dutch premier football division clubs rely on external financing to make transfers and several have set up ‘player funds’ to lure in outside cash, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

Groningen, Twente, Feyenoord, Zwolle, Utrecht, Heracles and Cambur have all set up funds to allow outside investors to participate in buying players for the club. Roda JC has six anonymous investors and NEC has a similar set-up, including billionaire businessman Marcel Boekhoorn, the Volkskrant says.

At Heracles, for example, a group of rich investors each put €2m into the player fund. This gave them effective ownership of 40% of the players at the time, so they would benefit from expensive transfers.

The player funds have allowed a number of high profile players to be brought to the Netherlands, the paper says. They include Twente’s Manuel Corona and enabled Groningen to buy Luis Suarez, who is now at Liverpool.

The paper says Ajax, which is listed on the stock exchange, AZ of Alkmaar and Frisian side Heerenveen are the only Eredivisie sides which rely on sponsors and have no external financiers.

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