Trainer Maurice Steijn will leave NAC Breda with immediate effect. The management, the Supervisory Board and the major shareholders say that the coach has made this decision for “safety reasons in everyone’s interest”. “NAC Breda has been very touched by the developments surrounding the club,” it says a statement published Saturday nightavond.
In recent days, supporters have allegedly made threats against Steijn. Drivers and other employees also feel unsafe, the statement said. The threats would have started after the Brabant club had missed promotion to the Eredivisie. NAC lost the final of the play-offs to NEC (2-1) at the end of May.
According to the board, that sporting disappointment and the anger about it from fans followed months of “innuendo, rumours, slander and leaks”. In addition, the club board also takes a stand against the regional newspaper BN De Stem, which with reporting would have created “a negative atmosphere” around the club. Rumors, for example, would have been copied and published without verification, with the involvement of “persons with their own agenda in Breda that is vicious and toxic”. According to the official press release, malicious reporting was also spread via fan sites. This description by the management, the Supervisory Board and the major shareholders about the situation at the club has already led to angry reactions from followers on social media.
The coach and the club came to the decision by mutual agreement. Steijn, who played for NAC as a professional football player, calls the decision “inevitable” because his wife and children would also have had to deal with the threats. He further states in his response about the insecurity: “In addition, I do not want supporter groups to call for actions because of my person – this can also affect the safety of society in Breda.” Shortly after the loss in the play-offs, technical director Ton Lokhoff also left, saying he was unable to work well with the technical staff.