In Holland, we use a professional football license. This is a license that any team that wishes to play professional football in either the Eredivisie or Jupiler League must obtain.
If a qualified team does not obtain the license, it is removed from its division. This basically means the team will cease to exist.
My favourite team, Fortuna Sittard, is now under threat by the KNVB (Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbal Bond or Royal Dutch Football Association), which is the governing body of football down here. As I said in earlier articles, our financial situation has been precarious for several seasons, but now the KNVB is fed up and they are threatening to revoke our license unless we can come up with 900,000 euros.
That pretty much sounded like the end of my beloved club when I first heard this news. Pretty soon afterwards, my initial fears were taken away when the club announced they were looking to broker a deal with some private investors.
In the rat-race that is modern day football, you’d be a fool to pass over a chance like this. The club can tap into new monetary sources to clear its debts and maybe start over with a clean slate. Extra money never hurt a team, not in the long run.
Just look at Chelsea. Average before Abramovich arrived, one of the top clubs in Europe since the Russian oil-monarch pumped his millions into the club. Other examples of where a benefactor's millions have helped a club are 1899 Hoffenheim in Germany, and AZ Alkmaar in Holland.
Naturally, there are down-sides. Critics will argue that the club is selling its identity, its very soul. Opportunism will replace common sense and might scare off a club's loyal fan-base.
I say screw that. Who says we’re selling our identity? Let’s wait and see what happens, if this deal goes ahead at all. Also, what good is our own identity when the club I love will cease to exist because our license has been revoked?
I say let them come, they can't make the situation much worse. If they don't come, my beloved club will cease to exist so I say take a chance with one or more private investigators.
The only condition I'd like to make is that such an investor doesn't replace the staff by lackeys without any affiliation with football or some other incompetent family-member looking for an easy job.