Ajax Denied Title As Eredivisie Ends Season Without Promotion And Relegation
Ajax have been denied the Eredivisie title after the Dutch 2019-20 season was ended early due to coronavirus, despite the league’s announcement that current standings will be recognised as final.
The Eredivisie was ended following an announcement from prime minister Mark Rutte that stated that all matches are forbidden until September 1.
As a result, the current table has been made final, although Ajax will not be awarded the title for finishing first with the Eredivisie not having a designated champion for the first time in the league’s 64-year history.
The decision to finalise the table was made after UEFA asked the Dutch federation to maintain the current standings to decide which teams are awarded spots in European competition.
Ajax will head straight to the last round of Champions League qualification despite being level on points with AZ Alkmaar, who will enter in the second round of qualifiers.
Feyenoord, meanwhile, will head to the Europa League group stage as they sat third, while PSV and Willem II will enter the Europa League in the third and second round of qualifiers respectively.
The decision to award Willem II with a Europa League spot is a controversial one as the fifth-placed club played one more match than sixth-placed FC Utrecht, who sat three points behind with a far superior goal difference.
Additionally, ADO Den Haag and RKC Waalwijk will remain in the Eredivisie next season after the Dutch federation opted to not promote or relegate any teams based on this season’s results.
The decision was made by the KNVB on Friday following a club vote after the federation stated that it was not an option to increase the league to 20 teams from the current 18.
With the decision, Cambuur and De Graafschap will remain in the second division despite being on course for promotion to the Eredivisie.
RKC Waalwijk were well on their way to relegation, sitting on just 15 points after 26 matches, while Cambuur were well tipped to go up as they maintained a four-point lead on top of the second division.
Protests are expected in the coming days as a result of the decision, with the second division sides denied the chance to move up.