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Dutch Clubs Can't Compete Financially With EFL Championship Says Overmars

Mon 3rd Oct 2016 | Money & Finance

Football clubs in Holland are finding it increasingly difficult to compete financially with England’s second tier according to Arsenal’s former Dutch winger, Marc Overmars but ruled out a return to his former club as manager.

The Ajax Director of Football suggested that clubs in nations like Holland and Scotland struggle to compete in the transfer market with not only the English Premier League, but also EFL Championship clubs.

Speaking at Aspire4Sport Global Summit at the Amsterdam Arena, the home of Ajax, Overmars told fcbusiness that young players coming through in Holland are always looking to move abroad.  

Renowned for its youth development, Ajax have produced some of Europe’s finest players but Overmars admits it’s a struggle to keep the best talent beyond the age of 22, citing Christian Eriksen as a prime example. The Danish midfielder signed for Ajax in 2008 before rising through the academy to make his first team debut in 2010 before signing for Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.

“He played for four years in the first team from the age of 18 until he was 22, then he left,” said Overmars. “He played in the first team, they won the league but then he still looked abroad.”

Overmars, suggested that the riches on offer elsewhere in Europe make it necessary for Dutch teams to produce players that are “younger and quicker”.

He added: “We have to prepare them quicker for the first team. Here [Holland], when you’re 19 years old and you’re good, you should be in the first team.

“After 3 years playing in Holland, at the age of 22, they want to look further across Europe. That’s the situation that we’re in now.”

Overmars draws parallels with Scottish Premiership Champions, Celtic who struggle to keep its best talent despite offering Champions League football. 

“Celtic are in a similar situation,” he added. “Where is Celtic in Europe? it’s same for Ajax in Europe, where are we now? Celtic, every year have to play for qualification to the Champions League.”

However, he dismissed the suggestion that the riches in the Premier League this season would be damaging to football clubs across Europe. 

“You see the money in football is going up, but if you look at how basketball is, or baseball in America, they also earn tens of millions of dollars a year but football is the biggest sport in the world. So football is catching up with those sports. The best ones rise to the top.” 

With talk of Arsene Wenger taking the vacant England managers job, was Overmars keen on a return to his former club?  “I am very happy and I am suitable for the role of Director of Football [at Ajax].” 

But he added: “You never know what happens in football.”

Image: Action Images

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