Wednesday 15 July 2020

Top football clubs set up ‘solidarity fund’ for teams stricken by coronavirus

The clubs will redistribute part of their European income.

Leading Dutch football clubs have set up a ‘solidarity fund’ to share their income from European competition with domestic teams who are unable to play.

Ajax have pledged €3 million from next season’s Champions League towards the fund, which will go to smaller Eredivisie and Jupiler League clubs. All domestic matches have been suspended since mid-March and will not restart again until September 1.

AZ Alkmaar, PSV and Feyenoord, who were awarded the other slots in the Champions League and Europa League, will each pay in €500,000, while the KNVB is paying in €5 million – which includes its standard contribution of €3.5 million for professional clubs.

Ajax have already pledged to invest 5% of their European income for the next three years in financing modernisation projects, such as compensating teams that have to replace artificial pitches with natural grass. The amount is estimated to be around €2.4 million per year.

‘We’re ready to help come up with solutions to help others, even though coronavirus is costing us tens of millions of euros,’ technical director Marc Overmars told De Telegraaf.

‘We are working to set up an emergency fund for all clubs, particularly those in the Eerste Divisie that have hit acute problems. Ultimately we will greatly depend on those clubs again.’

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