Because Sydney van Hooijdonk has not been offered a contract extension by NAC, the club can whistle for a sizable bag of money equal to twenty percent of the player budget.
The fact that Sydney van Hooijdonk never received a written offer from NAC to extend after the formal notice of his contract at the end of March costs the club 375,000 euros in training compensation. His new club Bologna will therefore not have to pay the bill that NAC says it will send next month. The Breda leadership disputes that.
However, the FIFA regulations explicitly state that a club is not entitled to a training allowance if it does not propose to extend the expiring contract. As a Serie A club, Bologna belongs to category 1 (90,000 euros). While NAC is the first division club category 2 with an associated fee of 60,000 euros. The average of this is 75,000 euros. Multiplied by a factor of 5, the number of NAC years of Van Hooijdonk, you arrive at 375,000 euros.
The striker who left for Italy this summer was admitted to the youth academy of NAC in 2016. In 2018 he signed his first professional contract; a three-year agreement. More than three months before the expiry of that contract, Van Hooijdonk’s contract was formally notified by post. The club indicated that it did not want to continue with the player.
We do not assume that we will not get the money from Bologna
NAC has further failed to make an offer that is at least equivalent to the previous contract as prescribed by FIFA rules sixty days before the contract’s termination, i.e. before May 1. Then NAC would retain the right to the training allowance. The regulations are fairly clear: a written contract proposal, if necessary by e-mail. That did not happen in the months after the cancellation. At the beginning of July, Van Hooijdonk said in the Gegenpressing podcast of this newspaper that he never received a proposal to extend.
NAC’s decision not to continue with Van Hooijdonk is well-considered given the termination of the contract. In August last year, both parties sat down, but the negotiations only led to an adjustment of the salary via an addendum to the contract. However, the term of the agreement was not extended.
Without transfer fee gone
In addition, with the approval of NAC, a termination clause has been included twice in the broken contract with the deadlines October 2 and January 25. In the summer and winter windows of the transfer market, the player could leave without a transfer fee until those dates. That is in black and white. With this too, NAC gave the signal that it did not see a future in Van Hooijdonk.
The training fee follows from the FIFA regulations and only applies if a player signs in another country up to and including the season in which the player turns 23.
“We do not assume that we will not receive the money from Bologna,” says NAC director Mattijs Manders in a response. “When the transfer window is closed, we will send the invoices for training fees and solidarity contributions as usual. It is a little more nuanced. Soon we will contact the relevant clubs. You can get into a discussion every now and then, because it’s a gray area. As far as I’m concerned, not by the way.”
Pre-determined player budget
On a players budget of more than two million euros, 375,000 euros is almost twenty percent of the amount that NAC spends on setting up the selection. Why not act sooner so that the money can be used to bring in new players? Manders: ,,The player’s budget will not change because we are bringing in an extra hundred thousand on the left or right. You use this kind of income as a club for your cash position. We work with a predetermined player budget. This has been approved by the Supervisory Board. We can’t change that.”
As a club we did everything we had to do
Manders says, together with the financial man of NAC (Edgar Mol), that he is currently collecting all information and sending an invoice to Bologna at the beginning of September. As always with legal issues, NAC is assisted by the FBO (Federation of Professional Football Organizations). Although according to the club nothing is playing at the moment.
The key question remains why NAC did not make the transfer-free top goalscorer last season no proposal to extend his contract. Although the expiring contract has been upgraded, the contract term has not been extended. Manders disputes that: ,,As a club, we have done everything we had to do.” An offer? “Yes, we made a proposal at the time, but unfortunately we did not come to it.” The latter is disputed by those involved.
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