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Holland’s top-flight Eredivisie agree to SCRAP the season with the title left vacant

The Holland top flight’s title will be left vacant with the season scrapped due to disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Both Ajax and AZ Alkmaar were level on points at the top of the Eredivisie, but neither will be crowned champions.

Promotion and relegation have also been axed – with Cambuur, who were 11 points clear at the top of the second tier, sensationally missing out.

Holland's top-flight Eredivisie agreed to scrap the season and the title will now be left vacant

Holland's top-flight Eredivisie agreed to scrap the season and the title will now be left vacant

Holland’s top-flight Eredivisie agreed to scrap the season and the title will now be left vacant

Ajax and AZ Alkmaar were level on points at the top of the table but neither will be champions

Ajax and AZ Alkmaar were level on points at the top of the table but neither will be champions

Ajax and AZ Alkmaar were level on points at the top of the table but neither will be champions

Clubs were afforded a vote to decide the outcome of the campaign, with 16 choosing to enable promotion and relegation for the Eredivisie.

However, a further nine sides voted against their competitors being allowed to move into different leagues, with nine more abstaining from the vote entirely and believing that the Dutch FA should decide.

The KNVB then ultimately opted to ensure that clubs will remain in their current divisions for when football does resume in the country. 

Clubs were given a vote to decide the outcome of the campaign during a video call on Friday

Clubs were given a vote to decide the outcome of the campaign during a video call on Friday

Clubs were given a vote to decide the outcome of the campaign during a video call on Friday

ADO Den Haag (pictured) and RKC Waalwijk subsequently avoided the drop to the second tier

ADO Den Haag (pictured) and RKC Waalwijk subsequently avoided the drop to the second tier

ADO Den Haag (pictured) and RKC Waalwijk subsequently avoided the drop to the second tier

The current league table will also decide which clubs take part in European competitions next term.

Ajax, who top the standings on goal difference, will enter the last round of the Champions League qualifying stages, and AZ Alkmaar will go into the second qualification round.

Feyenoord will instead contest in the Europa League group stage.

PSV will progress into the third round of Europa League qualification, with Willem II entering the second qualifying round of the competition. 

These permutations are subject to ratification from UEFA, however. 

ADO Den Haag and RKC Waalwijk have subsequently avoided the drop after the drastic action taken by the Dutch federation.

Waalwijk welcomed the decision, with managing director Frank Van Mosselveld saying: ‘The KNVB made the decision we hoped for this afternoon by not applying promotion and relegation to the 2019/2020 season.

Dutch PM Mark Rutte (pictured) said organised events would remain banned until September 1

Dutch PM Mark Rutte (pictured) said organised events would remain banned until September 1

Dutch PM Mark Rutte (pictured) said organised events would remain banned until September 1

‘There is now clarity, so that we can work towards the new season. The KNVB had to make a difficult decision, because there is now a bigger game in the world.’

However, Cambuur boss Henk de Jong is unsurprisingly furious with his team now denied promotion.

He described the decision as ‘the greatest shame in the history of Dutch sport’, and told Omrop Fryslan: ‘Normally I have all respect for the people of the KNVB. But that has now dropped far below zero.’

The governing body had initially revealed that it would not explore the option of increasing the top division to 20 teams for next season. 

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has banned professional football until September in the face of the current health emergency.

The Eredivisie becomes the first major European league to be cancelled due to the pandemic, with questions certain to be raised over whether other competitions across the continent will follow suit. 

UEFA indicated earlier this week that leagues in Europe could be cancelled 'in special cases'

UEFA indicated earlier this week that leagues in Europe could be cancelled 'in special cases'

UEFA indicated earlier this week that leagues in Europe could be cancelled ‘in special cases’

UEFA indicated earlier this week that leagues could be cancelled ‘in special cases’, although the organisation still hopes for a restart to football in June. 

All 55 European national FAs discussed the various ways to finish their respective seasons during a video conference call on Tuesday.

The Bundesliga and Serie A remain hopeful of restarting their action behind closed doors in May or June. 

But Club Brugge were awarded the title in Belgium, with the Jupiler League called off for health reasons. 

The nation were the first to break ranks from the rest of Europe and declare an immediate end to the campaign with just one game of the regular season remaining. 

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