Television rights Dutch law does not have a legal exclusive exploitation right with regard to sports matches. What is recognised by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in the case NOS vs KNVB, is the right of the owner/user of a stadium where a match is played, such as the home Football Club, to demand a fee for the registration and broadcasting of the match concerned. This authority forms the basis of the current Dutch practice with regard to the exploitation of sports matches played within the framework of Dutch professional football. As organiser of the Premier Division, the KNVB is currently negotiating with ENV about the rights with regard to the exploitation of television rights, in particular with regard to the income from broadcasting the matches played in football. However, within the framework of his judgement, based on competition law, with regard to collective exploitation of highlights of matches in Dutch professional football, the Minister of Economic Affairs has taken the view that the television rights belong to the home Football Clubs, all with reservation to a definitive ruling of a civil court. Appeals can be lodged against the Minister's decision. Furthermore, the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, within the framework of the relationship between the KNVB and its associated Football Clubs according to association law, ruled in summary proceedings that the KNVB's regulations and articles of association assume that the television rights in principle belong to the home Football Clubs. Competitions For Dutch Football Clubs, the activities within the professional football industry can be divided into the regular national leagues, the national cup competition and the European cup competitions. Regular national competitions The current regular Dutch competitions are the Premier Division, the First Division and the competitions for reserve teams (the second teams of the Football Clubs). Eighteen Football Clubs participate each year in both the Premier Division and the First Division. Both competions are played over 34 matches. The First Divisions consists of 4 periods, each generating a 'periodic champion'. At the end of each season, the number eighteen of the Premier Division is relegated, while the champion of the First Division gains promotion. Numbers sixteen and seventeen of the Premier Division battle it out with the numbers two and three plus the four 'periodic champions' for two remaining places in the Premier Division. The competition for reserve teams is divided into two divisions. The promotion and relegation arrangement for this competition determines which clubs play in which division, whereby clubs playing in the Premier Division are not automatically guaranteed a place in the highest division for their reserve teams. The champion of the highest of these two divisions gains the right to take part in the national cup competition. National cup competition The national cup competition is played for the Amstel Cup (formerly KNVB Cup). This competition is played in different groups, which contain clubs from the Premier Division and the First Division as well as the winners of the regional cup competitions (qualification competitions for amateur clubs) and the champion of the reserve teams competition. The winners of these groups, along with the top five teams from the Premier Division of the previous season and the team defending the cup subsequently play for the Amstel Cup through a knock-out system. At the start of each new season, the winner of the Premier Division and the winner of the Amstel Cup play for the Johan Cruijff shield (formerly the national Super Cup). European cup competitions The European competitions are: the Champions League, the European Cup Winners Cup (competition for the winners of the various European national cup competitions) and the UEFA Cup (competition for a limited number of Football Clubs which have finished high in their various European national leagues). Participation in one of the European competitions, as well as on the finishing position in the regular national competition of the previous season, depends on the position of the club's country on the UEFA league table. Depending on its position in the ranking, a country can enter one or two clubs in the Champions League, and one, two, three or four in the UEFA Cup. At the moment, the


Jaarverslagen Ajax NV (vanaf 1997) | 1998 | | pagina 19