With ADO Den Haag and VVV-Venlo, two Dutch clubs will switch from synthetic turf to natural grass again this season, further reducing the number of Dutch professional clubs on the criticized fake grass. Who will follow? An overview of the plans of the four Eredivisie clubs and eleven Kitchen Champion Division teams that are still playing on synthetic turf.
FC Emmen: natural grass (for the time being) not under discussion
Emmen, together with Heracles Almelo, PEC Zwolle and Sparta Rotterdam, the group of Eredivisie clubs that still plays on synthetic turf, is somewhat oblivious to the subject. The construction of real or hybrid grass (a mat that for the most part consists of real grass) does not seem to be a top priority.
"We will not leave the artificial grass for the time being. At least not in the coming season. Plans are always there. Just as we have been planning for a new stadium for some time," says director Jan Zwiers, who does not want to elaborate further.
Heracles Almelo: natural grass (for the time being) not under discussion
For the pioneer of synthetic turf in the Eredivisie, a replacement "financial and rational" is not an issue, as general manager Rob Toussaint already told Tubantia this week . "Heracles started it in 2003, because there was a bad field. Rain and wind have no free play with us and the aeration is bad," he said.
"Everyone wants to play in De Kuip, on a tight mat, but not on a lousy field. The budget that we run, they put in a field in England. But even if we would have money now, we may have other made choices. "
PEC Zwolle: natural grass per coming season
The corona crisis has led to some delay in the plans of PEC, but the intention is still that there will be a hybrid field in Zwolle as of the new season. Next week the decision will be made during a conversation with everyone involved.
"It is not a formality, but we are always in good contact with the municipality, the amateur club next to us (where PEC will have to train, ed.) And the grass supplier. I am positive," says general manager Jeroen van Leeuwen.
Sparta Rotterdam: natural grass as soon as possible
In Rotterdam, the plans for natural grass are linked to the renovations of Het Kasteel and the youth and training complex. "As soon as the complex has been renovated, we can switch," said a spokesperson. "I dare not give a timeline, but Sparta wants to return to natural grass as soon as possible."
Heracles Almelo was the first Dutch professional club to switch to artificial grass in 2003. (Photo: Pro Shots)
SC Cambuur: natural grass in 2022
How is the situation in the Kitchen Champion Division? In Leeuwarden, too, the switch to natural grass involves new construction; the new stadium should be ready in March 2022. "And then we switch to real grass," said a spokesman, who emphasizes that the word artificial grass does not appear in the new construction plans.
FC Den Bosch: natural grass (for the time being) not on the agenda
There were plenty of plans for a hybrid field in stadium De Vliert, until last year the takeover by investor Kakhi Jordania fell through. "The costs are just too high for us now. At the moment it is not an option at all, especially because of the corona crisis," the club said. "At the moment it makes no sense at all to think about it. We are looking at where we can still make savings, because we are busy trying to get our budget in order."
FC Eindhoven: natural grass (for the time being) not on the agenda
At the second club in Eindhoven, the possible return to natural grass is a logistical and financial issue. "We don't have training accommodation, so we only have one field where everyone trains and where all activities take place," said a spokesperson.
"Natural grass is not feasible for now, especially in this difficult time, and we are dependent on the municipality. We are looking at whether we can manage fields in the area. In this way, we are creating extra fields to train on and possibly the possibility to replace the synthetic turf field. "
Clubs that got off artificial turf
- Ado den Haag
- Almere City
- FC Dordrecht
- Young PSV
- RKC Waalwijk
- VVV Venlo
Excelsior: natural grass in 2022
Just like with fellow townsmen Sparta and Cambuur, the plans for a new turf at Excelsior are linked to a renovation of the stadium. "Natural grass is included in that plan, so we plan at least to switch. The plan has now been submitted to the municipality," said a spokesperson, who said that 2022 is the target. "Before that, nothing will change, especially in this difficult time."
Helmond Sport: natural grass (for the time being) not an issue
A natural grass field is not an issue in Helmond; the Brabant club also has plans for a new stadium, but these are under considerable pressure due to internal difficulties. A time period is not given. "We are working hard on this behind the scenes. Hopefully there will be a solution," said a spokesperson.
Young AZ: natural grass (for now) not on the agenda
At the AZ training complex in Wijdewormer, where Young AZ plays most of the home games, no hurry is made with the construction of natural grass. "The aim is to switch to natural grass in the future. The possibilities for this must be explored," the Alkmaarders say.
MVV Maastricht: natural grass (for the time being) not under discussion
De Geusselt stadium will be equipped with a new mat this summer, but that is again artificial grass. "The intentions for real grass are there, but given the current situation there will be artificial grass again," the club reports. "Natural grass is not financially feasible for us."
Splashing rubber: it seems to be part of it in the coming years, especially in the Kitchen Champion Division. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Roda JC: possible natural grass in 2021
The financially troubled Roda is in consultation with the municipality of Kerkrade, which rents the stadium. It is not yet entirely clear whether and when the natural grass may return to the Parkstad Limburg Stadium. "Roda will not play on natural grass until the 2021/2022 season at the earliest, but there is no definite answer yet," said a spokesperson.
Telstar: natural grass (for the time being) not under discussion
"We've mapped out a policy plan until 2026. We're 63 years old and 63 is a sacred number here (Telstar was founded in 1963, ed.)," Said a spokesperson. "The plan contains topics such as housing, women's football, promotion and also real grass. So it is certainly there as a wish, but in the long term."
TOP Oss: natural grass (for the time being) not under discussion
The club from Oss had an artificial grass field built in 2013 and is brief about the plans: there is currently no intention to fall back on real grass.
FC Volendam: natural grass in 2021
This is different in Volendam, where replacing the field is high on the agenda. "We want it as soon as possible; the planning is before the 2021/2022 season. The construction of an artificial turf field was born out of financial need in 2010, but we now have a new perspective," says operational director Tom Tol.
"The corona period makes it difficult, because we would have liked it already. We now have to see how we are going to get out, but the plan for real grass is in bold letters and a line underneath."
FC Volendam is one of the clubs that do everything they can to say goodbye to artificial grass in the short term. (Photo: Pro Shots)