SC Heerenveen and SC Cambuur are both finding themselves hundreds of thousands of euros short
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Now that the second half of the Dutch professional football season is also likely to be played without fans present in stadium, professional football clubs across the Netherlands are seeing their income remain low. A large problem for SC Cambuur (Leeuwarden) and SC Heerenveen is that the two clubs have included some ticket sales and other fan-related income in their budgets. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
General Director of SC Cambuur, Ard de Graaf, says: “I don’t need to explain in detail how every home game without fans, without ticket sales, hospitality; food and drink sales and so on costs us money: we lose thousands.” The major issue is that the club had included income from fans in its budget for this year. “Looking behind us it was a mistake, but in the summer you had everyone going on holiday, and the terraces were full. We also had a support package from the government. So I don’t think it was naïve [to include fan income in the budget]”, says De Graaf.
Meanwhile, SC Heerenveen didn’t want to give a budget-specific answer to the Omrop Fryslân, saying that all Eredivisie clubs should speak with one voice to maintain a stronger position when it comes to approaching the Dutch government for support.
However, at a new years reception given by the club, General Director Cees Roozemond said: “we begun our budgeting before this year, and we thought that from March we could play with some public participation. The reality of this year shows that the chance of that is very small, and that will have a big financial result, we are seeing.”
In any case, De Graaf of Cambuur hopes that the football world will gain some perspective; and is remaining somewhat optimistic due to government support. But he is worried about the future; this season lots of sponsors and fans have remained loyal to the club and renewed their season tickets, but this may not happen next season. “The most important thing is that we can open stadiums safely. That’s the key to the future, and it will become clear this year whether we can do that. Until then, though, it’s a lot of pain for us.”