PEC Zwolle cancels exhibition game with FC Groningen, but: ‘No hard feelings’ (update)


On Saturday it was announced that the Pride of the North has strengthened itself with Da Cruz, who comes on loan from Parma. The Groningers also managed to negotiate an option to buy on him. All this was followed with increasing amazement in Zwolle. PEC Zwolle was under the assumption that Da Cruz would come and strengthen the Blauwvingers. The 23-year-old wing attacker had already been medically tested in Zwolle; only his signature was missing.

Da Cruz put that signature later. That only happened not on a contract with PEC Zwolle, but with FC Groningen. Although FC Groningen technical director Mark-Jan Fledderus let it be known that he simply acted according to the rules, the course of events caused bad blood in Zwolle. Just like Fledderus, Da Cruz also did not understand the outrage: “There was no agreement with PEC yet,” he explained on Saturday.

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‘Not wise’

According to FC Groningen spokesman Richard van Elsacker, the people of Zwolle have indeed contacted the Groningers to end the friendly game. This would be played in Zwolle on Thursday, because there will be no premier league football next weekend due to international football.

“They think it is not wise to play against each other now,” he confirms. Van Elsacker cannot say whether the transfer of Da Cruz is the basis for the cancellation. ‘They didn’t say it like that to us. You really have to be at PEC Zwolle for that. ‘


Vincent de Vries, who follows PEC Zwolle on behalf of De Stentor, says via Twitter that the exhibition game between the people of Zwolle and Groningers has been canceled, because PEC Zwolle is still ‘angry’ after missing Da Cruz.


Mike Willems, technical manager of PEC Zwolle, says that the anger has cooled somewhat by now. ‘After Da Cruz had signed with Groningen, there was of course some consternation. But angry? That’s not too bad. I just had a chat with Mark-Jan Fledderus and as far as we are concerned it’s all fine.

Nevertheless, the consternation, which according to Willems mainly played among the supporters of both clubs, was reason to cancel the exhibition game. ‘Yes, that seemed so useful to us. Moreover, there were several options for practice opponents’, the team manager explains. The cold surrounding Da Cruz’s transfer is now out of the blue. ‘Yes, absolutely. No hard feelings towards Mark-Jan or FC Groningen. ‘

Update: This post has been supplemented with a response from Mike Willems

Also read:
– Alessio da Cruz understands that transfer seems strange action to an outsider
– Alessio da Cruz understands that transfer seems strange action to an outsider

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