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Irish League Clubs Seeking Sharing of Euro Monies Can Look Towards Dutch Eredivisie Precedent

The Dutch already have a system in place despite the NIFL Managing Director’s comments yesterday...

Ajax v Feyenoord. Eredivisie clubs already distribute some of the money earned from European competition to lower-ranked clubs and youth training at Dutch second-tier clubs.

Irish League clubs voting to have a share of the 2019/20 season European monies shared more equitably are not following an unprecedented path.

The Dutch Eredivisie are already doing this, which may surprise those who watched yesterday’s interview with NIFL Managing Director Andrew Johnston which may have given the impression this cannot be done. It may even surprise Mr Johnston who said, “That is between the participants and UEFA - it is not something NIFL or any other league would be involved in,” explained Johnston.

But Mr Johnston may be right, as it’s not clear if the Eredivisie is actively involved in redistributing the wealth between Dutch clubs or not. It may be a directive owned and organized by the clubs themselves without the involvement of the league’s authority.

But if the will is there, it can be done. The fact remains that top-tier clubs in the Netherlands currently do share European income with lower-ranked rivals to set an example of fairer distribution of soccer’s wealth.

The Eredivisie says the wide-ranging agreement covers UEFA payments to clubs who play in the Champions League and Europa League.

From this season Dutch clubs in UEFA competitions will give five percent of their group-stage prize money toward Eredivisie teams which did not qualify.

That would have been 1.25 million euros ($1.7 million) from Feyenoord’s 25 million euros ($28.4 million) income last season.

The league says it’s the first in Europe to share revenue this way.

The Eredivisie also plans to give hundreds of thousands in UEFA solidarity payments toward youth training at Dutch second-tier clubs.

The move came as the 28-nation European Leagues Group continues to urge UEFA to distribute the Champions League’s $2 billion annual prize money more fairly to help close the wealth gap between clubs.