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The Dutch players’ union VVCS recorded a success in a legal dispute with the national football association, the KNVB. The judge agreed with the players’ union and allowed players from HFC Haarlem, a club recently declared bankrupt, to transfer to amateur clubs.


In February, the KNVB refused to grant five players permission to a finish the season at amateur clubs. Until recently, the five had been playing for HFC Haarlem in the Dutch second division. However, the club went bankrupt in January 2010 and these five players hoped to be able to continue playing for amateur clubs.


The KNVB did not allow this. According to the national association, regulations do not permit transfers during the season since this can lead to a distorted competition. The players’ union VVCS was not in agreement with this position.


The VVCS presented two arguments to the court on behalf of the players:

  • the transfer deadlines are determined in the regulations and are not affected;
  • the interest of the players to be able to play elsewhere and maintain their skills comes before the formal interest of the KNVB.


The judge agreed with the VVCS and the players, much to the delight of the lawyer representing the VVCS, Wil van Megen: ‘The judge had a perfect understanding of the situation and on that basis passed a judgement which does justice to the interests of the players who also now no longer have to rely on public funds to support themselves.’