„Finally ‘a full house’ again, where the players on the field are encouraged as much as possible by as many supporters as possible. Is that safe? Yes, the Fieldlab studies have previously shown that full stadiums are safe and responsible,” the three organizations argue in a press statement.
Marianne van Leeuwen, the new director of professional football at the KNVB, is very satisfied with the latest developments. “I have just been working at the KNVB for two weeks and I am happy that I can already respond to this good news for professional football. Finally there is plenty of light at the end of the tunnel, after a long time in which something that 8 million football fans in the Netherlands cherish was suddenly less obvious. It is clear that a lot of hard work has gone into the continuity of the competitions and the return to the ‘old normal’ in front of and behind the scenes. Now it’s almost time, a super important milestone for everyone involved.”
The KNVB, the ECV and the CED emphasize that professional football in the Netherlands has gone through a difficult period. “We come from far. All clubs and the entire sector have had to fight hard all this time. There has been a loss. A lot of money has been invested in making the clubs corona-proof. The competitions have ended. The games were played in front of completely empty stands and then for a ‘restricted audience’, with spectators surrounded by empty seats. Everyone has also tested massively for corona. We have continuously adapted to the new reality.”
According to the three organizations, the supporters and sponsors have remained loyal throughout. “Driven by club love and the hope for better times. We did not always agree with the government, just as it was not always happy with football. But we have arrived at a pleasant collaboration that has led to the moment where we have arrived. Hopefully, the pandemic is now mainly behind us and all remaining sectors can be fully unlocked as soon as possible.”