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KNVB sanction play-off change

Published: Friday 25 April 2008, 10.00CET
The Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) has agreed to change the format of the Eredivisie European play-offs for an initial one-year test.
by Berend Scholten
KNVB sanction play-off change
Ajax finished second this season, but will now have to negotiate play-offs ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 25 April 2008, 10.00CET

KNVB sanction play-off change

The Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) has agreed to change the format of the Eredivisie European play-offs for an initial one-year test.
The Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) has agreed to change the format of the Eredivisie European play-offs from next season.

New structure
Unlike the present system, when the 2008/09 campaign is completed teams finishing between second and fourth will not participate in the end-of-season competition. The runners-up will enter the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League, while clubs finishing third and fourth respectively will qualify for the UEFA Cup along with the Dutch cup winners. The remaining UEFA Cup berth will then be decided by a best-of-three series between the fifth to eighth-place finishers.

'Requested'
"The clubs requested an adjustment to the play-off system," read a KNVB statement. "The KNVB preferred to continue the current play-off system, we did not find it necessary to change. Until the end of the competition there was something to fight for, and that made the play-offs a success on sporting grounds. The numbers of spectators increased in recent years and for the clubs it was also commercially interesting that more matches were played."

Evaluation
However, the association board has officially approved the changes for an initial period of one year, after which the situation will be reviewed. The Dutch currently have four UEFA Cup entrants on the basis of their domestic rankings/results in accordance with the UEFA regulations, though this changes each year.

Last updated: 25/04/08 16.36CET

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