Is the 2019/20 Eredivisie season void, or not?

With lawyers lining up to support teams wronged by the decision, the league might not yet be over

10:17am on Tuesday 28th April 2020
Team FC

Confusion reigns in the Netherlands as the KNVB's decision to void the 2019/20 season may be anything but final.

Reports from publication AD suggest that a number of teams who could be wronged by this decision have been inundated by lawyers offering their services to launch legal action against the move.

Most affected are Cambuur. The top two in the Dutch second division, known as the Eerstedivisie, gain automatic promotion to the Eredivisie. They are 11 points clear of third place and based on statistical simulations carried out have a 99.5% chance of going up, under normal circumstances.

Second-placed De Graafschap have a slightly smaller buffer, being seven clear of Volendam, but not an insignificant one. The counterpoint on the other end is RKC, marooned at the bottom of the Eredivisie and 11 points from safety. There as little chance of them staying up. Throw in Utrecht who believe they will be denied a European spot - it was granted to Willem II, but Utrecht have a game in hand and better goal difference - and there's a number of teams ready to take on the decision.

General Manager of Cambuur, Ard de Graaf, said: "At Ajax, the goal difference counts for allocating a Champions League place, because '75% of the league has already been played'.

“With us, the competition is annulled because 'only' 75 percent has been played. A child can see that there are legal brackets here. We have set out our first actions.''

What De Graaf is referring to is the fact that Ajax will not be crowned champions, but will qualify automatically for the Champions League due to their superior goal difference over AZ, who will need to navigate an arduous preliminary round process to reach the tournament.

But the other positions have effectively never happened, meaning there are two solutions to the problem within the same division. It seems, at first glance, that the KNVB haven't thought through the repercussions of this.

De Graafschap Managing Director Hans Martijn Ostendorp said: “We are going to ask the KNVB for full transparency and openness.

"From a to z, the entire process must surface. The union is talking about honesty and integrity. Well, let's see it."

This situation, and the 2019/20 season, seems far from over, and other leagues will be watching on with interest as they look to make their own decisions.

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