The Emmenaars were relegated this season, losing a relegation playoff semi-final to NAC Breda
Translated by Thomas Ansell
It has been another disappointing season for FC Emmen, with the Drents team finishing third bottom in the Eredivisie and then losing its relegation playoff to NAC Breda. But, as reported by RTV Drenthe, FC Emmen director Ronald Lubbers thinks that with a new stadium the club could become mainstays in the top division of Dutch football.
Relegation to the Keuken Kampioen Divisie has a number of financial consequences, says Lubbers, not least with a large number of both playing and non-playing staff likely to be let go. Naturally, this is likely to make ascending back to the top of Dutch football even more difficult. However, says Lubbers, having a new stadium could provide a financial cushion and a new base to build from.
“We could further professionalise, you can get more people in on matchdays, have more income, retain more staff off the pitch, and then become stable in the Eredivisie”, says Lubbers.
Plans for a new FC Emmen stadium have been circulating for several years, with neither the club nor the city able to find an agreeable funding situation. The current stadium ‘De Oude Meerdijk’ can hold just over 8,300 people. For reference, most of the larger teams in the Eredivisie have stadiums that can hold more than double that: perpetual champions Ajax can fit 55,000 in the Johan Cruyff ArenA.
With the 2019/2020 season called off, and the 2020/2021 season held without fans thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, season ticket holders could cause even greater financial woes by asking for some of their yearly ticket price back. However, Lubbers predicts that many of the fans will see that the club isn’t in the strongest of positions, and refrain from draining it of further funds.