A very strange story is emanating from the Dutch leagues after FC Emmen were reported to the KNVB by Fortuna Sittard after they offered an ‘incentive premium’ by Emmen.
In the Dutch 1st tier, similar to the Bundesliga, there is a relegation play off spot. Whichever team falls into 16th place at the end of the season will have to play in a play-off match against the 3rd team in the second tier to see if they will be relegated and the other side promoted or if both teams remain where they are.
This season FC Emmen currently sit in 16th with just one game to play, 1 point behind Willem II.
FC Emmen are scheduled to play VVV who are already relegated. Whereas Willem II will face Fortuna Sittard who themselves have nothing to play for.
Knowing this, it is reported that FC Emmen have offered an ‘incentive premium’ to Fortuna Sittard to encourage them to take points from Willem II on the final day.
Fortuna reported the FC Emmen to the KNVB immediately to avoid themselves facing any punishment.
Not a new thing
Teams providing incentives is no new thing in the Eredivisie.
De Telegraaf tells the story of how a PSV sponsor promised iPhones to De Graafschap should they get a result against Ajax… which they did.
A PSV sponsor promised the players of De Graafschap a brand new iPhone 7 at the time, prior to the 1-1 against Ajax, which won PSV the title on the final day. But this is no longer allowed, so FC Emmen can count on an investigation by the independent prosecutor of the KNVB.
However, this, as described, is now banned and therefore Emmen are likely to be investigated.
What the punishment could be is as of yet unknown, however, should this be deemed in a category similar to match-fixing the reality is that a points deduction is not a vicarious assumption.
Should this be the case, Emmen could see themselves drop into a automatic relegation spot rather than simply the play-off.
Worrying times ahead. A story certainly to keep an eye on.