Five Eredivisie clubs have been cleared of breaking EU state aid rules after a three-year investigation by the European Commission.
Deals between PSV Eindhoven, NEC Nijmegen, Willem II Tilburg, FC Den Bosch and MVV Maastricht and their respective municipalities were scrutinised as part of a pan-European inquiry into the funding of professional football clubs.
Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona were among seven clubs in that country that Brussels found to have gained an unfair advantage on their competitors. Real has been ordered to repay €18.4 million for a number of breaches, including selling their stadium for an inflated price.
PSV sold the Philips to the municipality for €48.4 million in a leaseback deal, but the Commission found that it did not break EU competition law. The other four Dutch clubs were also found to have acted within the rules. ‘In these cases we found that the state aid rules were applied,’ said competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
‘PSV is pleased that this long-running issue has been clarified,’ said club director Toon Gebrands. ‘All parties involved have said from the beginning that it was a fair deal.’
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