Following the Dutch Football Association’s (KNDB) decision to void the near-completed 18/19 Eredivisie season, its furious sides are unwilling to meet in the middle.
Just a week ago, the KNDB announced its decision to ‘indefinitely suspend’ the campaigns of its first and second divisions based on the threat posed to players and spectators by the COVID-19 virus.
The Eredivisie has been declared null and void!
Ajax won't be giving the title despite leading AZ on goal difference and Fortuna Sittard, ADO Den Haag and RKC Waalwijk won't be relegated 🇳🇱😱 pic.twitter.com/hUvYzto8sQ
— BettingOdds (@BettingOddsUK) April 24, 2020
However, with a majority of their top-flight sides having completed 26 of their 34 games, the Holland FA’s annulment has been met by mixed responses.
Eredivisie-leaders and 34-time champions Ajax have seen their efforts this year yield zero rewards. Similarly, point-level and fellow table-toppers AZ Alkmaar have witnessed their title challenge turn to dust, along with their quest for Champions League football next season.
Serving as a stark contrast, former Newcastle boss, Alan Pardew’s Ado Den Haag have breathed a sigh of relief over the recent announcement. Languishing second from bottom, the club has been saved thanks to the safety net cast by their FA.
🇳🇱 The Dutch Football Association has decided not to enforce promotion or relegation in the Eredivisie this season.
— Sporting Life Football (@SportingLifeFC) April 24, 2020
Though all this might be set to change.
Upon facing legal disputes from roughly half of the league’s sides, clamouring over lost profits whilst maintaining the pay of staff and players alike, the KNDB have quickly back-peddled.
Reportedly, the FA’s first proposal suggested the use of ‘simulated’ fixtures. This would mean that, based on goals scored and conceded, prior results, and by miraculously implementing the means to incorporate ‘home advantage’, the league’s final standings would be calculated.
Through this process, a champion would be crowned and sides relegated based on computer software – without so much as a ball being kicked.
But we all know that, in the unpredictable sport that is football, anything can happen.
On occasion, we bear witness to feats of near mathematical impossibility. Perhaps a side grasps a late victory from the jaws of defeat or a striker tries his luck with an unorthodox attempt, only to score a memorable, crucial goal.
Based on calculations, we never would have seen famed, highly improbable footballing moments, like this one for example:
The unlikeliest championship in ALL of sports! 🏆
Leicester City beating 5000-1 odds to win the 2015-16 Premier League is your Moment of the Decade. pic.twitter.com/cJALrg9KEa
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 30, 2019
The majority of the Eredivisie’s sides have rejected this simulated end to the campaign, instead requesting that the season be completed at a point in the future when it is safe to do so.
However, the league is now caught in a tug of war between those who a continuation would benefit and those it would not.
With the KNDB and its clubs unable to come to an agreement, this debate looks set to roll on in what could result in a decision from which the rest of Europe’s top leagues may well take inspiration.