Substantial capital injection for Feyenoord

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Financially-troubled Rotterdam football club Feyenoord has announced a deal with an investment group of supporters which will see an injection of around 17 million euros into the club in return for shares.

The so-called 'Friends of Feyenoord' VvF, led by millionaire Pim Blokland, are planning a total investment of at least 30 million euros. Most members of the VvF wish to remain anonymous for personal reasons.     In exchange for financial assistance, the VvF will get two seats on the club's supervisory board from February 2011. When the total investment reaches 30 million euros, they will get a third seat on the board.

Feyenoord CEO Eric Gudde announced on Thursday that Feyenoord lost around 4 million euros last season. But the injection of new cash from the VvF means that the club's debt falls to 26 million euros, of which 11 million are interest-bearing. The negative equity drops to 18 million euros. Despite an early exit from the Europa League and the Dutch Cup, Mr Gudde said that currently the club is making a small operating profit, mainly due to major cost savings.     According to Mr Gudde, Feyenoord still has a long way to go before it is financially secure. "Right now we cannot afford the players we would like." But he says the financial support of the VvF is very important in the recovery process. "I would say in times of emergency, you will learn who your real friends are."     The serious financial problems at Feyenoord have meant close scrutiny from the Royal Dutch Football Association KNVB. Feyenoord must get its financial affairs in order within three years.

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