AMSTERDAM: Dutch club FC Twente has been banned from European competition for three seasons after the Dutch football federation ruled it had “deliberately misled” the governing body over its involvement in third party ownership.
Twente was involved in player dealing with Doyen Sports Investments, a subsidiary of private investment fund Doyen Group.
The Enschede club, which won the Dutch league in 2009-10, has been investigated concerning a deal to sell player transfer rights to Doyen Sports. The European ban will run across the 2016-17 to 2018-19 seasons, with the KNVB adding that Twente’s professional license will be revoked if it fails to fully cooperate with an independent investigation into the club’s structure.
Twente has also been fined €45,250. It will not appeal the ruling.
A club statement said: “The core of our football club is being hit hard. We will in coming seasons not be allowed to participate in European football. That hurts. Not only for players and staff, but also for our supporters, sponsors, staff, volunteers and all others who stand wholeheartedly behind FC Twente.
“At present a wide array of measures are being taken in internal financial and organisational control. It is clear that we do everything in our power to never get into such a situation again.”
The KNVB said the punishment followed Twente’s failure to reveal full details of a third party ownership contract with Doyen Sports.
Last month Aldo van der Laan resigned as president of FC Twente after admitting leaked documents detailing the player transfer agreement with Doyen Sports could damage the club. Doyen Sports earlier revealed that a host of sensitive documents were leaked online by hackers after it refused to meet their unspecified demands.
Published on the Football_Leaks.com website, the documents provided an insight into how investors loan money to football clubs in return for a percentage of the fees they receive when a player is transferred to another team. Fifa, football’s global governing body, last year moved to ban investors from player trading over complaints that funds were exerting too much influence.
The contract between Twente and Doyen detailed that Doyen agreed to pay the club €5m for between 10 and 50 per cent of the transfer fee rights for seven players. The deal was signed in 2014, before Fifa outlawed TPO.
The KNVB said it is also sending Twente’s dealings with Doyen Sports to the KNVB prosecutor and to Fifa. “They have to judge whether the contract between FC Twente and Doyen Sports breaches national or international football rules,” the KNVB said.
Twente is currently 16th in the 2015-16 table.
Twente added in its statement: “Later this week there is again a very important moment for the future of FC Twente. The Enschede municipal council will decide on the council proposal to grant a guarantee of €32m. Everyone in FC Twente realises fully now that every possible effort should be put in to secure a healthy future for the club. The sense of urgency to take all the necessary measures is great.”
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