Amateur clubs are getting deeper into financial trouble

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“During the lockdown for us in the spring, we lost 30,000 euros in proceeds”, says Jan van de Lei, chairman of the Groningen football club Helpman. “Fortunately, the rent for the fields was also canceled. In the near future we will also miss out on all our canteen income. But we have to continue to pay the rent.”

Because the canteen is closed, but you can continue playing on the fields. And so clubs have less of an argument for telling the municipality that they do not want to pay the rent for the pitches.

‘This is impossible’

The Interest Organization of Amateur Football Associations (BAV) is conducting a second study into how amateur clubs are doing, after corona. “This is where harrowing stories come in”, says Stephan Wageman of BAV.

Initial results show that 34 percent of clubs are concerned about survival. In May, in the first survey, this was still 18 percent.

“A club told us that they were not helped by the municipality, but that they received reminders to pay the accommodation rent. Or a club that got a disciplinary case because they have a lot of care workers in the second team and have not started playing at a club of which it was known that there were many corona infections. Or a cry for help like ‘this is impossible’. ”

Big mouth back

According to Van de Lei van Helpman, besides the financial troubles, there are also other problems. “We think we’re all in a safe bubble here. And a lot of young adult members don’t take it too closely with the corona rules. But of course it’s not safe from the virus here either.”

He notices that the measures are difficult to enforce by his voluntary corona coordinators. “They get a big mouth when they say something about it to those present.”

The chairman argues for a stern warning to everyone: “For the realization it is simply better if the whole place is closed and we stop the competition. And that’s not just me. With all the associations in the area, we are it. agree on that. “

Nobody comes to drink

Indeed, this is also the way chairman Peter de Jong of football club Achilles 1894 from Assen thinks about it. “It is better to stop everything for the next three to four weeks. And then hope that it can be done again after that.”

Achilles 1894 derives a third of the income from the canteen. In addition to the players, the audience at the matches of the highest teams was important. “Those 250 people who stood there often also came for a drink. That all falls away.”

De Jong has already adjusted the budget with the board. In recent months, use has been made of the TASO support measure for sports clubs. However, that arrangement expired on August 31. “It is still unclear whether it will come again.”

Compensation jar

Chairman Ben van Olffen of the BAV was still in consultation with the KNVB this morning and now they argue together for the continuation of the amateur matches.

“People are already able to do so little and so it is important that they are allowed to continue to play sports. And clubs can get compensation for the rent through the municipality. Although I also understand that this is not always going well because municipalities are also having a hard time. They fear that this will happen. they can no longer get the money they return to the club as promised from the special compensation fund for it. “

Also other sports

The closing of the canteen also affects other sports, such as handball club Hurry-Up (380 members) from the Drenthe Zwartemeer. “60 percent of our income comes from bar sales,” said secretary Robert Peters.

“In addition, we are now going to miss our entire receipts at the games of the first team. Normally, 600 paying visitors came to watch, now with the corona rules there were a maximum of 140.” That was sold out in five minutes. “

Although the drama for this handball club is complete now that a large part of the first team appears to have been infected by a fellow player. “Actually, it is no longer justified to exercise. Because that contamination happened in the field, where keeping a meter and a half distance of course does not apply.”

Philistines

The Dutch Handball Association does not want to go that far “We play handball as long as possible and stop if necessary”, says chairman Sjors Röttger. The fact that canteens have to close affects Hurry Up, but that is much less of a problem in the handball world.

“The clubs often play in a hall of the municipality. The bar turnover is often not part of the turnover of the club. The handball sport has been able to deal with this blow. But what we fear is that people will set up their membership.”

According to Peters of Hurry Up, this is because nothing is happening around the field anymore. “The social aspect of a club goes to the Philistines with these measures. Being together in the canteen was very important for that.”

Just hockey

Chairman Roel Testroote of hockey club Spandersbosch (1400 members) in Hilversum is also particularly afraid of an attack on the club feeling.

“The effect of these measures on club life is great. You can play sports, but nothing more around it. And that is important to us. We are also less able to show new members that such a hockey club is mainly of many people together. It is really hoped that the effect will not last. “





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