Own goal? Enschede council bails out struggling football club FC Twente

Photo: FC Twente
Photo: FC Twente

A majority of Enschede city councilors have backed a rescue plan for troubled local football club FC Twente, which involves writing off €5m of a €17m loan and scrapping  repayments and interest on the remainder of the cash.

The city’s ruling coalition voted in favour of the plan, while opposition councilors (Socialist and GroenLinks) voted against, local paper Tubantia reported. They are furious the football club is being bailed out at a time when social services are being cut.

Alderman Eelco Eerenberg said the move to support the club is a difficult one, but essential. ‘The alternative, the club going bankrupt, would be far worse,’ he said during the council meeting.

Companies and private supporters have also stepped in to help the club. ABN Amro has written off €4.5m of its €5.5m loan and the wealthy Wessels family is investing ‘millions’ via an investment company, local broadcaster RTV Oost said.

The club is currently €30m in debt. FC Twente was relegated from the Eredivise last season but is currently on top of the first division.

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