Dutch taxpayers' money into football black hole
Sixteen Dutch municipalities have admitted that they are financially supporting professional football clubs despite a ban on state support.
A poll by public broadcaster NOS revealed that many local authorities are covertly subsidising clubs by purchasing skyboxes or training grounds. In other instances, rents due for stadiums or playing fields are waived. Over the past five years, 300 million euros of taxpayers' money was channeled to football clubs.
In the 33 municipalities polled, only six sports councillors said they keep track of what the clubs do with the money. The others apparently donate money without being able to check on how it's being used.
Three councillors said they expected their local professional club to go bankrupt sometime in the coming years, a feeling emphasised by the Royal Dutch Football Association KNVB which is predicting a number of bankruptcies before the year is out.
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