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Feyenoord

Feyenoord is a professional football club located in Rotterdam. Alongside Ajax and PSV, Feyenoord are one of the "big three" clubs in the Netherlands, but have faced a steady decline in results over recent years. These three clubs have won every Dutch League Championship since 1965 – with the exception of AZ's 1981 title – and they are, together with FC Utrecht, the only clubs never relegated from Dutch first division football.. In domestic competition, Feyenoord has won 14 Dutch Championships, 11 Dutch Cups and 2 Dutch Supercups to go with the European Cup, 2 UEFA Cups and the Intercontinental Cup.

Location

Feyenoord are located in the Feijenoord district of southern Rotterdam and were originally named Feijenoord after the district in which the team was founded. More frequent appearances in international tournaments led the team to change its name in 1974 because foreign fans unfamiliar with the Dutch language did not know how to pronounce ij.

In addition to Feyenoord, there are two other professional football teams in Rotterdam: Sparta and Excelsior. All three sides currently play in the Eredivisie, which is the country's top league.

Motto

The culture of the club is expressed in their motto Geen woorden maar daden ("Not words, but deeds"). It is part of the refrain of the club's official hymn and refers to the men who founded the club in 1908, all hard-working labourers of the Port of Rotterdam. "While Amsterdam dreams, Rotterdam works." Feyenoord fans don't expect the team to play beautifully, but want them to fight for every single metre on the pitch.

History

1908-1939

The football club Wilhelmina were founded in the pub De Vereeniging (The owner was Jac. de Keijzer) on 19 July 1908 and played in blue-sleeved red shirts and white shorts. Between 1908 and 1912 the club underwent a series of changes of name and team colours, becoming Hillesluise Football Club in 1909 and then RVV Celeritas. Upon earning promotion to the National football association in 1912, the club renamed to become SC Feijenoord, after the city district in which the team was founded and again changed uniform, adopting the red and white shirts, black shorts and black socks they still wear today. In 1917 Feijenoord were promoted to the highest level of Dutch football, 1e klasse (1st division) and moved to the ground Kromme Zandweg.

Sixteen years after the formation of the club and a mere three years after they were promoted to the highest level of Dutch football Feijenoord earned their first honours by capturing the national league championship in 1924. The team enjoyed a string of successes in the latter half of the decade, taking divisional titles in 1926, 1927, 1928 and 1929, and winning their second national championship in 1928.

Feijenoord won their first Dutch Cup in 1930 by scoring the only goal in a derby final against Excelsior. They continued to dominate their division with three consecutive titles, but were winless in subsequent championship finals. Five years after their first cup win, Feijenoord took the prize for a second time in 1935 by beating Helmond Sport.

Feijenoord started to attract more fans to their stadium at Kromme Zandweg, and in 1933 decided to build a new facility. The club moved to the Feijenoord Stadion (nicknamed "De Kuip" or "the Tub") in 1937, playing the first match there on 27 March against Beerschot. During this period Feijenoord won three consecutive division titles from 1936 to 1938, with their third and fourth national championships coming in 1936 and 1938.

1940-1969

During World War II Feijenoord played their matches at Sparta Rotterdam's Kasteel, as the Nazis had occupied De Kuip. When Het Kasteel was unavailable due to clashes with Sparta fixtues, Feijenoord played at their former ground, the Kromme Zandweg.

Feijenoord's again won a division title with a national championship in 1940, their fifth Dutch title. During the German occupation of the Netherlands play continued in Dutch football leagues, though the 1945 championship was cancelled as the war came to its conclusion. During this period Feijenoord's only trophy was a divisional championship in 1943. After the war Feijenoord did not perform as well as they had in previous decades, not seriously challenging in their division and so missing the national playoff rounds.

on 30 June 1954 the chairmen of the three biggest Rotterdam teams organised a meeting in Utrecht, which was attended by several chairmen of other clubs and a delegation of the KNVB to discuss the start of professional football in the Netherlands. The professional era commenced with the first Eredivisie season in 1954/1955. Feijenoord were one of the clubs participating in the inaugural Eredivisie and have never been relegated. One of the most memorable matches in these first years of professional football was the clash between Feijenoord and the Volewijckers at 2 April 1956, which Feijenoord won 11-4 with nine goals by Henk Schouten. Feijenoord would grow an intense rivalry with AFC Ajax. Matches between the two clubs quickly were dubbed as 'de Klassieker' (The Classic). The first memorable Klassieker from a Feijenoord point of view took place at 11 November 1956, when Daan den Bleijker scored four times to give Feijenoord a 7-3 win over their arch rivals.

Feijenoord claimed their first professional Eredivisie Championship and their sixth Dutch Championship in history in 1961. On the road to the title Ajax were beaten 9-5 in De Kuip, four of Feijenoord's goals were scored by Henk Schouten. The following season, they played their first European Cup match facing IFK Göteborg. The Swedes were beaten 0-3 in Gothenburg and 8-2 in Rotterdam. Feijenoord were eliminated by Tottenham Hotspur in the following round. In 1962 Feijenoord successfully defended their Dutch Championship title and reached the final of the Intertoto Cup 1961-62. Feijenoord faced arch-rivals Ajax in the final, which was won by the Amsterdam team 4-2.

On 12 December 1962 Feyenoord played a decisive match versus Vasas SC in the second round of the European Cup 1962-63. The first two legs, in Rotterdam and Budapest both ended in 1-0 home victories, and a replay on a neutral ground took place. The match was played in Antwerp, Belgium and 30,000 Feijenoord fans travelled by bus to see their team play. For the third time the final score was 1-0, with the only goal scored by Rinus Bennaars who was immediately nicknamed "The hero of Deurne" (the neighbourhood in Antwerp where the match was played). The events in Antwerp resulted in an enduring friendly relationship between the fans of Feyenoord and Royal Antwerp FC.

In 1963 hundreds of thousands of people stood ashore by the Nieuwe Maas and the Nieuwe Waterweg to wave two ships, deGroote Beer and the Waterman goodbye. The ships transported thousands of Feijenoord fans to Lisbon where the club faced Benfica on 8 May 1963 in the European Cup semi-finals. The first leg, held in Rotterdam a month earlier, finished 0-0. Feijenoord eventually lost the match against Benfica 3-1, but this turned out to be the start of the most successful period in the club's history. Feijenoord won the double for the first time in their history in 1965 and managed to win another double a few years later in 1969. The 1965 title secured Feijenoord a spot in the European Cup 1965-66 where they faced multiple cup champions Real Madrid on 8 September 1965 in the preliminaries. During the match Hans Kraay had to leave the pitch injured after 31 minutes, without being substituted. He returned at the start of the second half and scored the goal which resulted in a 2-1 win. Later during the match fans' favourite Coen Moulijn was attacked roughly by a Spanish defender. Moulijn then chased the defender all over the pitch. Several other players did the same, as did some fans who entered the pitch. The referee could do nothing but suspend the match at 2-1 in Feijenoord's favour. Two weeks later Real comfortably beat Feyenoord 5-0, and eventually won the European Cup that season.

1970-1999

As the 1969 Dutch champions, Feijenoord participated in the European Cup 1969-70. After thrashing Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur 16-2 on aggregate in the first round the team faced AC Milan. Feijenoord lost the first leg 1-0 in Italy, but overcame the deficit in their own stadium following a 2-0 win, securing a place in the quarter finals where they faced ASK Vorwärts Berlin.

The tie followed the same pattern as the previous round, Feijenoord losing the first match 1-0 away, then winning 2-0 at home. In the semi-finals Legia Warszawa were beaten 2-0 on aggregate, earning Feijenoord their first European final. Ajax had reached the same final in 1969 but were not able to win. Feijenoord faced Celtic in the final, held in the San Siro stadium in Milan. Goals by Tommy Gemmell and Rinus Israël resulted in a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes. Three minutes before the end of extra time, Ove Kindvall scored Feijenoord's winning goal to make them the first Dutch team to claim a major European trophy.

As the cup holders, Feijenoord participated in the European Cup 1970-71 despite relinquishing the Dutch title, which was won by Ajax. Feijenoord were eliminated in the first round following a surprise defeat by the Romanian team UT Arad. However, as reigning European champions, Feijenoord faced Estudiantes La Plata in the Intercontinental Cup. The first match in Buenos Aires' La Bombonera finished in a 2-2 draw. Back in Rotterdam, Feijenoord managed a 1-0 victory (winning goal by Joop van Daele) to win the world club crown, the first Dutch team to do so. Estudiantes player Oscar Malbernat got frustrated and grabbed Van Daele's glasses and trampled on them. "You are not allowed to play with glasses... at least not in South America" was his excuse. In 1971, Feijenoord won their 10th Dutch Championship.

In 1973, the club decided to change their name to Feyenoord, as people from outside the Netherlands found it difficult to pronounce the "ij" in Feijenoord. Under their new name they played in the UEFA Cup 1973-74, reaching the final following a 4-3 aggregate win over VfB Stuttgart in the semi finals. The opponent in the final was Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs took a 2-1 lead in the first leg at White Hart Lane, but Theo de Jong equalised after 85 minutes and the match ended in a 2-2 draw. Feyenoord then won their match in Rotterdam 2-0 thanks to goals by Wim Rijsbergen and Peter Ressel, and became the first Dutch team to win the UEFA Cup. As a result, Spurs fans started to riot, introducing Dutch football to the spectre of hooliganism in the process. The remainder of the decade saw Feyenoord win only one more honour: the Dutch Championship in 1974. In 1978 the club divided their professional and amateur sides to form two separate teams, Feyenoord for professionals and Sportclub Feyenoord for amateurs.

Feyenoord won their fifth Dutch Cup in 1980 by beating Ajax 3-1 in the final.

In 1984, Feyenoord had another bright season, winning the double for the third time in their history. Key players in the squad from this period included Johan Cruijff, Ruud Gullit and Peter Houtman (who later became the Feyenoord stadium announcer). Cruijff reacted to Ajax's decision not to offer him a new contract at the start of the season and signed for arch rivals Feyenoord instead. Cruijffs move to Rotterdam was criticised and increased Ajax's motivation to beat Feyenoord. In the Olympic Stadium of Amsterdam Feyenoord suffered their heaviest ever defeat: 8-2. However, Feyenoord later defeated Ajax in Rotterdam 4-1 and Ajax were subsequently beaten a second time in the Dutch Cup. Feyenoord proceeded to win a league and cup double by beating Fortuna Sittard in the cup final.

After the successful season Feyenoord experienced a lean period and were unable to finish the season in a higher position than third. In the 1989/1990 season, the club struggled to remain in the Eredivisie, but eventually managed to avoid relegation. The club had financial problems, the staff was not able to recover and their main sponsor HCS went bankrupt.

When Wim Jansen was appointed as the interim manager to replace Günder Bengtsson and Pim Verbeek after a 6-0 defeat against PSV, the outlook began to improve for the club. PSV, the strongest Dutch club of the period, were knocked out of the KNVB Cup by a Henk Fräser goal in Eindhoven. Feyenoord progressed to the 1991 final where they beat BVV Den Bosch 1-0 to win the competition. As the cup holders, they faced champions PSV again, this time in the 1991 Dutch Supercup, the first Supercup held since 1949. PSV were beaten 1-0 by a Marian Damaschin goal to add another honour to the club's achievements. They went on to win another Dutch Cup in 1992, beating Roda JC 3-0 in the final. The same year Feyenoord reached the semi finals in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1991-92 beating Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter final before being knocked out by AS Monaco on away goals after two draws.

In 1993, Feyenoord secured another Dutch Championship by beating FC Groningen 5-0 in the last league match of the season. The match was played at the Oosterpark Stadion in Groningen, so 40.000 Feyenoord fans watched the game on giant screens in De Kuip. The title was followed by another two Dutch Cups in 1994 (beating N.E.C. (2-1)) and 1995 (beating FC Volendam (2-1)). During the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1994-95, Feyenoord reached the quarter finals after beating Werder Bremen in the second round. They eventually lost to Real Zaragoza. In the quarter-final in the 1995 KNVB Cup Feyenoord visited Ajax, the team that would win the UEFA Champions League 1994-95 later that season. Ajax was leading 1-0 when Ruud Heus equalised with a penalty just before time. In the extra time Feyenoord became the only team to beat Ajax the season they won the Eredivisie and the Champions League unbeaten. The goal scored by Mike Obiku was the decider as the new golden goal rule became in use. During the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1995-96 Everton and Borussia Mönchengladbach were beaten. A total of 14,000 Feyenoord fans travelled to Germany to support the team against Mönchengladbach. Feyenoord were knocked out in the semi-finals by a Carsten Jancker inspired SK Rapid Wien.

Feyenoord made their UEFA Champions League debut during the UEFA Champions League 1997-98, finishing third in their group behind Manchester United and Juventus. However, Juventus were beaten 2-0 in Rotterdam, both goals scored by Julio Ricardo Cruz. In 1998, the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) visited Feyenoord because of suspected fraud, mainly based on the signings of Aurelio Vidmar, Christian Gyan and Patrick Allotey. This became an ongoing scandal in the years to come with chairman Jorien van den Herik as the main suspect. On 25 April, 1999, Feyenoord secured their 14th Dutch Championship. 250,000 fans celebrated with the team in the center of Rotterdam. However, later in the evening heavy rioting started. Before the start of the new 1999/2000 season, Ajax were beaten in their own stadium when Feyenoord won their second Dutch Supercup after a free kick by Patrick Paauwe, which secured a 3-2 win.

Recent history

During the UEFA Champions League 1999-00 Feyenoord participated in the UEFA Champions League for the second time. This time the club managed to finish second in their group behind Rosenborg BK, but in front of Borussia Dortmund. Feyenoord reached the second group stage and secured wins versus Olympique Marseille (at home) and S.S. Lazio (away). Chelsea won both clashes and as a result Feyenoord had to win their last group match away to Marseille to reach the knock-out stages. The final result was 0-0 and Feyenoord were eliminated.

Feyenoord again participated in the Champions League in 2001-02, finishing third in a group containing FC Bayern Munich, AC Sparta Praha and FC Spartak Moscow. This meant Feyenoord had to continue their European season in the UEFA Cup 2001-02 instead of the 2nd Champions League group stage. The disappointment of failing to reach the second group stage eventually resulted in optimism and celebration. By winning over SC Freiburg and Rangers, Feyenoord faced fellow Dutch team PSV in the quarter finals. Both matches ended in 1-1 draws, and the clash went into extra time and a penalty shoot-out. Pierre van Hooijdonk who had a superb season by scoring many goals from free kicks secured Feyenoord's win by scoring in the 90th minute equalizer before finishing PSV off by scoring the last goal in the penalty shoot-out. A win in Milan (0-1) over Inter and a 2-2 return match in Rotterdam earned Feyenoord their spot in the final, in which Borussia Dortmund was the opponent. The final was held in De Kuip and as a result most spectators inside the stadium were Feyenoord fans. Feyenoord took a 2-0 lead thanks to another free kick and a penalty by Pierre van Hooijdonk. Early in the second half Jan Koller scored a goal to make it 2-1. Jon Dahl Tomasson then made it 3-1 and things looked good for Feyenoord. Dortmund only managed to score one more goal and the cup was won by Bert van Marwijk's Feyenoord.

A huge party erupted in and outside De Kuip not only because of the title, but also because the final was held several days after Rotterdam's political hero Pim Fortuyn was murdered. Lots of fans were still full of emotion before and after the match. As a result of Fortuyn's murder, the cup was not officially celebrated in the city center.

The 2002 UEFA Cup win was the start of a long dry spell for Feyenoord. In the 2002/2003 season the club managed to finish 3rd in the national league, as well as reach the final of the Dutch Cup (which was lost 1-4 to FC Utrecht), but in the following years Feyenoord disappointed in both the national league and the Dutch Cup.

In between, Feyenoord and chairman Jorien van den Herik were found to be not guilty in 2002. The Public Prosecutor however appealed, but in 2005, after three years of investigations the results stayed the same. Still, the prosecution has not given up the case yet.

The 2005/06 season ended in disappointment for Feyenoord. The team challenged for the Dutch Championship for most of the season, but eventually lost out to PSV. The newly created Dutch play-offs then proved to be gloomy for Feyenoord. Ajax, which finished several points behind in the regular league, were Feyenoord's opponent in the play-offs. Ajax ouclassed them and Feyenoord lost out on a Champions League place.

In the 2006-07 season the nightmare grew even bigger. The supporters saw their two star players leave to Chelsea (Salomon Kalou) and Liverpool (Dirk Kuyt). At the same time it became clear that Feyenoord were in an appaling financial state despite earlier comments made by chairman Van den Herik who claimed that the club was financially healthy. Supporters unrest grew into anger when Feyenoord bought Charisteas, a back-up striker of arch rivals Ajax with a poor track record, as a replacement for Kuyt. After continuous protests chairman Van den Herik resigned and the club started managerial reforms. The worst was not over though. Feyenoord were expelled from European competition following hooliganism prior to and during a match with AS Nancy, despite an appeal by the club. The season ended in bitter disappointment with a 7th place finish, causing Feyenoord to miss European football for the first time in 16 years.

While desperate supporters started preparing for a dark age, the club surprised friend and foe in the 2007 summer transfer window. A brilliant performance of young left back Royston Drenthe at the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship had investors flocking to the new investment schemes Feyenoord had set up. The club appointed former coach Bert van Marwijk and was able to make a number of high profile signings amongst which Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Roy Makaay. Despite the efforts, Feyenoord underperformed once again in the national league, finishing in a disappointing 6th place. The pain was relieved by claiming the first prize in 6 years: 100 years after the foundation of the club, Feyenoord managed to win the Dutch Cup, beating Roda JC by 2-0. As Feyenoord coach Bert van Marwijk accepted a job as coach of the national team, Feyenoord appointed Gertjan Verbeek as their new coach for the 2008/2009 season.

In the 2008-2009 season, Feyenoord will officially celebrate their 100th birthday and will organise many events throughout the year. The old "golden logo" will return as Feyenoord's official logo, which was presented at the 2007 new years brunch. During the summer a historical tournament will be held between Feyenoord and the three opponents they met in the European Cup finals they played, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham Hotspur and Celtic FC (Feyenoord Jubilee Tournament).

Stadium

The club's Feijenoord Stadion, located in the Feijenoord district of Rotterdam, is nicknamed De Kuip, Dutch for The Tub. It was built in 1937 and is one of the major European stadiums. It has 51,117 seats and has hosted a record of 10 finals of UEFA club competitions, including the 2002 UEFA Cup Final which was won by Feyenoord.

When driving over the Van Brienenoordbrug every Feyenoord supporter always looks aside to have a look at the stadium. Feyenoord supporters are known to love their stadium as much as their club and are very proud of it. Also for (former) Feyenoord players De Kuip is something special. Mike Obiku once said "Every time you enter the pitch, you're stepping into a lion's home." Feyenoord does not own the stadium, it is an organisation on its own.

In 1935 Feijenoord player Puck van Heel hit the first pole on their way into their new stadium. The stadium was opened on 27 March 1937 and Beerschot was beaten by 5 goals to 2, Leen Vente scored the first goal in De Kuip. Already in the very beginning the stadium was sold out on several occasions and other events held at de Kuip also gained lots of attendance. During the second World War the stadium was one of the few locations which was not bombed, however the Nazis occupied the stadium. After the war De Kuip became popular location once again. In 1949 the attendance record was broken during the match to decide the Dutch championship between SVV Schiedam and SC Heerenveen; 64,368 fans visited the match.

Besides football there were also boxing and motorcycle speedway races in De Kuip, which were also gaining popularity. In 1953 people had to hide inside the stadium during the North Sea flood of 1953. On 27 November 1957 Feyenoord played versus Bolton Wanderers during an evening match. It was the first time the floodlights were taken in use. The players entered the pitch in the dark and the fans were asked to light their matchsticks when the floodlights were activated. Since that evening, that match at De Kuip has always been special among Feyenoord fans. In 1963, De Kuip hosted their first European final (Cup winners' Cup) between Tottenham Hotspur and Atlético Madrid. Nine more European finals would follow in the years after with Feyenoord's win over Borussia Dortmund in the 2002 UEFA Cup final being the 10th and latest. The attendance record of 1949 was broken in 1968 when 65,427 fans visited the Feyenoord-FC Twente match.

New Stadium

In December 2006, Feyenoord director Chris Woerts announced that Feyenoord were developing plans to build a new stadium which would have a capacity of roughly 70,000 seats. The stadium would most likely be placed at Varkenoord (Feyenoord's youth center) and should be completed by 2016.

In May 2008 Woerts announced further details: the club is aiming for a stadium with a capacity of around 100.000 seats . If possible, a capacity of over 106.000 should be realized according to Woerts, which would earn the title of biggest stadium in Europe. The club emphasized its efforts to make it a true football stadium with seats close to the pitch. The stadium will get a retractable roof so that other events can be held as well. According to plans, the stadium should be ready in 2016.

Stadium songs

Unofficial Feyenoord hymn

Feyenoord's unofficial hymn since 1961 is called "Hand in Hand". Its melody was written in the 19th century by German Wilhelm Speidel. In 1961 Jaap Valkhoff wrote the lyrics which became popular among Feyenoord supporters who adopted the song as their unofficial hymn. Valkhoff wrote lyrics on the same melody for several other teams as well. Among them were Feyenoord's arch rivals Ajax. Nowadays the song is heard wherever Feyenoord play their matches, but also fans of MVV and Club Brugge have their own version that they sing.

Other songs

When a goal is scored by Feyenoord in their home matches the song I Will Survive, covered by the Hermes House Band, but made famous by Gloria Gaynor in the 1970s is played.

Feyenoord supporters are known to be creative and have a lot of various songs and chants in their equipment during matches. Among the most important Feyenoord songs are "Mijn Feyenoord" by Lee Towers, "Feyenoord, wat gaan we doen vandaag?"' by Cock van der Palm and "De laatste trein naar Rotterdam" by Dorus. During the 2001/2002 season when Feyenoord won the UEFA Cup a parody was launched of the song "Put your hands up" by Black and White Brothers called "Put your hands up for Pi-Air" as a tribute to Pierre (Pi-Air) van Hooijdonk. In the 1970s Coen Moulijn also had a song dedicated to him named "Coentje Coentje Coentje".

Supporters

The supporters of Feyenoord are said to be one of the most loyal supporter groups in the world supporting the team during both good or bad times. They are nicknamed Het Legioen, Dutch for The Legion and can be found everywhere in The Netherlands and far across the Dutch borders. Squad number 12 is never given to a player, but is reserved for Het Legioen instead.

Popularity

Feyenoord can be called a popular club because they always attract huge amounts of fans. The club's fans excel in European Cup matches played abroad where thousands of fan travel to support their team. Exact numbers on which clubs attract the most fans abroad are not available, but it's known this is a high rate compared to most other European clubs.

In 1963 about 3000 fans boarded on two ships, among thousands of others by train or car and they travelled to Lisbon where Feyenoord faced Benfica in the European Cup. When Feyenoord plays abroad in European Cup about 8000 travel together to support their team. Almost 15,000 fans were cheering for their team in 1996 when Feyenoord played in Germany versus Borussia Mönchengladbach. About 40,000 fans visit a regular match at home while top classes versus Ajax, PSV and European Cup opponents are sold out most of the time. About 250,000 fans showed up when Feyenoord's latest Dutch championship was celebrated in 1999 at the Coolsingel in the center of the city. After Feyenoord beat Internazionale in the 2002 UEFA Cup semi final, Inter midfielder Clarence Seedorf said: "I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the Kuip. As an ex-Ajax player I was really given the bird, but that’s all part of the emotions in football. It also illustrates the intense way in which the Feyenoord supporters experience their club’s matches.

Beyond the Netherlands, Feyenoord opened a fanshop in the center of Tokyo, Japan when Japanese player Shinji Ono was a key player at the club, and also in South Korea when Song Chong-Gug played for Feyenoord.

Supportersvereniging

Feyenoord have one official fan supporters club, the Feyenoord Supportersvereniging. The FSV are completely independent and as of 2006 have a membership of about 23,000. The FSV aim to cater for the wishes and needs of Feyenoord fans, and also operate as a bridge for better communication between the club and fans. Each home game the FSV produce the official match programme rather than Feyenoord itself. FSV also arrange special events known as "supportersavonden" (supporter's evenings)., arrange travel for away matches and the mascot for home matches, and participate in Feyenoord projects like Supporters Platform, TIFO team, Kameraadjes and the yearly Open day. The Supporters Platform formed in August 2005 to improve communication between club and fans Within the FSP about 60 supporters are continuously in contact with the staff of the club to discuss club matters. About five times during a season an open meeting is arranged for all other Feyenoord supporters willing to visit and listen to and discuss explanations.

TIFO team

In 1998 the Feyenoord Supporters Vereniging were wondering about whether or not it would be possible to create more atmosphere inside the stadium mainly during important matches. As a result, a few huge flags were produced and brought into the stadium prior to matches played by Feyenoord. The flags were a success, but people started asking for more activities and a meeting between fans and officials were arranged. In 2000 Harry Veth was given permission to establish a group of five Feyenoord fans called TIFO team Feyenoord Rotterdam. Besides creating more flags and small pieces of paper released from the second platform the team also started to organise bigger activities. The first big activity was held on 10 December 2000 when Feyenoord faced Ajax and 40 fog machines were activated when the players entered the pitch. In the following years many different and various activities were held to improve the atmosphere inside the stadium. Feyenoord's TIFO team became famous abroad as well and the Italian TIFO foundation awarded Feyenoord the Best of TIFO Award 2000/2001.

Kameraadjes

Kids supporting Feyenoord between 0 and 12 years old can join the "Kameraadjes" group. De kameraadjes (The little comrades) get a versatility of little gadgets and advantages according to Feyenoord. Members of the Kameraadjes receive the Kameraadjes magazine, a free stadium tour and a welcoming present. During a season, several events for Kameraadjes members are held, like: a Sinterklaas party, special events during Feyenoord Opening day and the first training of the season, beach soccer tournaments and advantages when visiting a Feyenoord home match. As of 2006 there are 26,500 Kameraadjes.

Jeugdproject

Feyenoord's Jeugdproject (Youth Project) concentrate on children between 6 and 12 years of age, playing football at schools and amateur teams. To show the kids the importance of sports and sportsmanship, Feyenoord invite the children to De Kuip to see what sport can do to people: happiness, disappointment, excitement, emotions, fear and cosines, it brings people together. In Feyenoord's Youth Project visiting a match is the central point, but there is also an educative and cultural character included. Feyenoord provide schools and amateur clubs with small teaching books and expect these to be filled in by the visiting youth when they enter the stadium on a match day. The groups that support Feyenoord in the most original way and those who can predict the score correctly are awarded with prizes.

First training

Every single year Feyenoord fans look forward to the club's first training of the new season. They show up with thousands together and temporary stands are placed around the training pitch. Players signed during the summer will be seen by the fans in public for the first time and the players take some time to sign autographs after the training. Around the training pitch there are several other activities held before the first and in between the first and second training of the day. No other club in the Netherlands attracts as much supporters towards the first training and the new players are positively surprised every year. Despite finishing 9th in the Eredivisie in the 2006-07 season for instance the first training of the 2007-08 season broke all records when 20,000 fans showed up to support the team and to erase the previous season out of their minds.

Opening day

A few weeks after the first training but still before the season really starts, the club open their doors for free for all Feyenoord fans to have fun together and to present the squad for the upcoming season. De Kuip already opens in the morning when there are many activities around the stadium mainly for kids and promotional activities for companies which have a partnership with Feyenoord. Fans can also take a stadium tour and walk on the pitch. The activities inside the stadium itself normally start around noon when there are several performances by various artists. Every year the new Feyenoord ambassador of the year is announced at opening day. A minute of silence will be held for all former Feyenoord players who have passed away and for known fans who have passed away in the previous year. Former Feyenoord players return to De Kuip every year to play versus a team of Dutch celebrities. The stadium activities end after the squad for the upcoming season is presented to the fans. This is always a special happening, mainly for the new signings of the team. They will be flown into the stadium with helicopters when a full stadium is cheering for them when they arrive. Once they are there the other players and club officials enter the pitch one by one. Last but not least, all players are available for autograph sessions afterwards. Feyenoord's open day attracts about 60,000 to 70,000 fans towards Rotterdam, coming from all over The Netherlands, while there's only 51,117 seats available inside the stadium. The opening day is known as a unique event in the Netherlands.

Famous Feyenoord fans

Besides a lot of former players who still are fans of the club, there are also many celebrities who openly announce to be a Feyenoord fan. Singer Lee Towers and actor Gerard Cox are known as the most fanatic Feyenoord fans around, talking about the team wherever they show up on TV, radio or magazines. Among other famous Feyenoord fans are politicians Wouter Bos and Jan Marijnissen, baseball manager Robert Eenhoorn, kidnapped Arjan Erkel, judo world champion Dennis van der Geest, DJ Paul Elstak, tennis player Raemon Sluiter and TV star Renate Verbaan. Sluiter, Towers, Van der Geest and Eenhoorn have all officially been Feyenoord ambassadors. Verbaan is the current and first ever female ambassador.

Hooliganism

Aside from the loyalty of the supporters, which earned Het Legioen the title "Best fans of the country", there is also a hooligan side, which often give the club a bad name. During the UEFA Cup final versus Tottenham Hotspur in 1974 Feyenoord fans were confronted with hooliganism for the first time. Prior to the match Tottenham hooligans had been causing damage in the center of Rotterdam already and during the match they climbed over the cages that separated the home and away stands. They were throwing seats, set the stadium on fire and were fighting man to man. About 150 people mainly supporters of Feyenoord were wounded and 50 Tottenham hooligans were arrested. UEFA-employee Lucien Schmidtlin reported that neither Feyenoord nor Tottenham could be blamed for the riots. After the match the Dutch authorities saw the happenings as a problem that occurred in England and only a few people were warning that these riots might become common. In the years that followed the clashes with Spurs fans The S.C.F (SCF) was established and a lot of the fanatic Feyenoord fans became part of one of the most feared firms in European football. In Europe they were also known as the "Don't run away" firm and besides fights with other Dutch firms there were some big fights in the 1990s in Germany. 15,000 Feyenoord fans were having control over the German police in Mönchengladbach, while also in Stuttgart and Leverkusen they caused a lot of trouble. The most violent clash where the SCF clinched with Ajax's F-side was on 23 March 1997 when "The battle of Beverwijk" took place and Ajax fan Carlo Picornie was killed by the SCF. After this incident several members of the original SCF stepped back and a second generation of hooligans joined those who stayed. The additional firm was known as the RJK (Rotterdamse Jongeren Kern/Rotterdam Youth Squad). Two years later a third firm (FIIIR) was established and merged with the RJK, the FIIIR became the youth squad of the SCF. Another big clash between the firms of Ajax and Feyenoord happened in Rotterdam on 17 April 2005 when hundreds of SCF and FIIIR members fought with the police prior to the match versus Ajax. F-side members were at that time held by the police just outside the stadium and when the announcement was made in the stadium several groups of SCF/FIIIR members left the stadium to find the F-side. When the police tried to avoid the groups to get together both sides attacked the police first before clashing with each other. Many people got injured, police officers and members of both firms. On 30 November 2006 Feyenoord faced AS Nancy in France, which is at driving distance from Rotterdam. Only 1200 tickets were awarded to Feyenoord fans. Much more than that amount travelled to Nancy and tried to get tickets at the Stade Marcel Picot. Later, during the match inside the stadium SCF and FIIIR members broke a wall of glass between two stands and provoked French fans. The match was suspended for 30 minutes in the 80th minute after the police used tear gas to drive the SCF/FIIIR members back into their own stand. The match was eventually finished, 30 minutes after it was suspended. It was said many of the SCF/FIIIR members were having Dutch stadium bans and should not have been allowed to buy tickets in Nancy. Members of SCF and FIIIR identify themselves with their tattoos Due to this violence, Feyenoord were knocked out of the UEFA Cup for the remaining of the season. In total there are about 200 members, but when in Rotterdam they are joined by more. Feyenoord hooligans consider themselves among the best and say they have no fear and will never run away. They also call themselves "Rotterdam Hooligans" and "Lunatics", their main slogans are "Vatos Locos Forever", "Feyenoord till we die" and "We shall not be moved".

Rivalries

AFC Ajax

Ajax from Amsterdam are Feyenoord's arch rivals. The two clubs share a long history together and matches between the two clubs are called the Klassieker (The Classic) The rivalry is not only between the two teams, but also a confrontation between the two largest cities of the country, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, two cities with extreme differences in for instance attitude and culture. While Feyenoord are the team of hard working no-nonsense players with guts, anti-heroes that put their money where their mouth is and fight for every ball contact Ajax on the other hand are a team of self-assured players, creative artists which most of the time have more technical skills. People from Rotterdam dislike Amsterdam, while people from Amsterdam dislike Rotterdam. Where Amsterdam attracts many tourists from all over the world, for their canals, but also for their historical buildings which survived World War II, Rotterdam was bombed and hardly attracts tourists at all. Amsterdam is seen as an arrogant city; Sparta Rotterdam fan Jules Deelder (nicknamed 'the Night Governor of Rotterdam') once said "Holland's money is earned in Rotterdam, divided in The Hague and flushed down the toilet in Amsterdam." In times one of the two teams underperforms in the league, the meeting between the two teams is still considered to be the biggest game of the season. Stadiums are always packed, the matches get a lot of media attention and high emotions among fans occur. Positive, but also negative emotions; In the past there have been many clashes between the supporters of both clubs, of which the Beverwijk clash in 1997 is the most infamous, with Ajax fan Carlo Picornie being killed and several others injured. In 2004 Feyenoord player Jorge Acuña was taken to hospital with head, neck and rib injuries after Feyenoord players were attacked by Ajax hooligans during a match between the reserve teams of both clubs. Another Feyenoord player, Robin van Persie had to be rescued by Ajax coach John van 't Schip and player Daniël de Ridder. Then in 2005 riots before and after the match happened in Rotterdam and were considered to belong to the worst in the history of Dutch football.

Sparta Rotterdam

Rotterdam is the city with the most professional teams in the Netherlands, besides Feyenoord there are Sparta Rotterdam and Excelsior and therefore the city is often referred to as "Voetbalstad nummer 1" (city of football number 1); Writer Bart in 't Hout wrote a book with this subject and the same title. There is a rivalry between the teams, mostly between Feyenoord and Sparta as Excelsior can be seen as Feyenoords feeder club, but it is not comparable to other city clashes like in Glasgow, London, Liverpool, Madrid, Rome or Milan for instance. Feyenoord fans often see rather Excelsior or Sparta win a match than any other team. The rivalry between Sparta and Feyenoord is mostly seen on the Sparta side. Some Sparta fans reject to ever enter Feyenoord stadium De Kuip, not even when Sparta reached the KNVB Cup final which was played in De Kuip. Sparta fans often say "Only when De Kuip is burning I will go there to have a look". "I will help the fire fighters, but with benzin(gas)instead of water". Other Sparta fans say they will enter De Kuip, but only if they can get in for three shillings. In the 1950s there was much more of a rivalry. One of the key factors for these feelings were created among player Tinus Bosselaar. Bosselaar was a player who played for the Dutch national team who moved from Sparta to Feyenoord in 1954. In his period at Feyenoord he performed that good, that Sparta wanted him to return to the club. Feyenoord took Sparta to court to avoid him leaving the club, but lost the case and Bosselaar left the club. A song about the rivalry between the two teams describes the last hours in the life of an eighty year old lifetime Feyenoord fan who tells his friend to become a member of Sparta before he dies. The reason becomes clear in the last part of the song as he tells his friend he rather sees a dead Sparta fan than a dead Feyenoord fan.

Famous Feyenoord players

Netherlands

Australia

Denmark

Egypt

Feyenoord managers

Feyenoord have had managers from all over Europe. In the early years the club mainly had English managers, as football was already professional there. Feyenoord's first Dutch manager was Engel Geneugelijk (ad interim), while Richard Dombi is seen as the first successful coach. He led the team in three different periods. During the club's weakest period in history Feyenoord was managed by two managers at once, Dutchman Pim Verbeek and Swede Gunder Bengtsson. Bengtsson was the last foreign manager to lead Feyenoord. Feyenoord's international trophies were won by Ernst Happel, Wiel Coerver and Bert van Marwijk.

Feyenoord chairmen

Where Feyenoord's managers came from all over Europe the chairmen were mainly Dutch, with Amandus Lundqvist from Sweden as the only exception. With 28 years Cor Kieboom was the longest reigning chairman in the club's history.

Media

Since 2000 Feyenoord have had its own television programme, shown weekly on SBS6. The show features interviews with players and other team members as well as documentaries about the team. As of the 2006-07 season Feyenoord launched its own Feyenoord TV project on their website with daily news and reports that tells everything about the club.

In 1993 Feyenoord introduced their own newspaper, the Feyenoord Krant, the first and only Dutch club to do so. The newspaper is published fortnightly, with a print run of 25,000. Extra editions are published to coincide with European matches. Inside the newspaper news, background information, interviews, reports and columns by Feyenoord related figures can be found.

Feyenoord were one of the latest Dutch teams to open their own official website on 21 May 2001. The site is available in Dutch and English, plus other languages depending upon the nationalities of the club's high profile players. As of 2007, Japanese and Korean editions are available due to the popularity of Shinji Ono and Song Chong-Gug in their home countries. Since 2004 Feyenoord have shared a website 2 teams 1 goal with UNICEF as part of Feyenoord's children's welfare project in Ghana. To mark Feyenoord's centenary another site was launched in January 2007 to publicise events related to the occasion. Feyenoord also opened official Live.com and YouTube pages in 2006.

Feyenoord also offer the option to follow the club with news and statistics on cell phones or email. For each and every home match a daily program magazine is created and children who are members of the Kameraadjes also receive a magazine. At the beginning of the season Feyenoord produce a new presentation magazine, while at the end of the season a Feyenoord yearbook is created.

Current squad

Out on loan

Reserve Squad

Retired numbers

12Het Legioen, reserved for the club supporters

Transfers since July 2008

InOut

Technical staff

Management

Partnerships

Sportclub Feyenoord

Sportclub Feyenoord are Feyenoord's amateur and youth side, who have played at Varkenoord, directly behind De Kuip since 1949. Sportclub Feyenoord's annual youth trials attract a large number of hopefuls, with thousands of boys attempting to impress the coaches.

The Feyenoord squad typically contains a number of players who joined the club after playing for Sportclub Feyenoord, and several players from Sportclub Feyenoord have progressed to have successful careers at international level, including Puck van Heel, Wim Jansen and Giovanni van Bronckhorst. A number of high profile managers also started their coaching careers at Varkenoord, including Clemens Westerhof and Leo Beenhakker.

Partnerships with other clubs

As of 2007, Feyenoord currently have three formal partnerships, a satellite club arrangement with nearby Excelsior, a partnership with Hungary's Újpest FC and the Feyenoord Academy in Ghana. The most of strongest of these partnerships is that with Excelsior, who since 1996 have loaned young Feyenoord players on the verge of the first team. The purpose of this is to allow them to experience regular first-team football, aiding their development while simultaneously strengthening Excelsior's squad. The highest profile players to have played at Excelsior as part of this arrangement are Thomas Buffel and Salomon Kalou, who were both subsequently involved in transfer deals worth several million Euros.. The partnership between Feyenoord and Excelsior was scaled back in 2006, though the clubs still work together.

Feyenoord's co-operation with Újpest FC started when Hungarian ex-footballer and former Feyenoord player Jószef Kiprich joined the Hungarian team as a under 19 coach and started as a scout for Feyenoord.

The academy in Ghana arose form a visit by Feyenoord chairman Jorien van den Herik to Abidjan to sign the then unknown Bonaventure Kalou, when ven den Herik contacted with the education institute at Kalou’s club. The academy was built in Fetteh, just outside Accra. after go-ahead for and was given by the Chief of Fetteh in 1998. At the academy, young talented African footballers can work on their football skills. In addition to helping their football potential the students are provided with formal education which is funded by Feyenoord. The Feyenoord Academy currently play their matches in the OneTouch Premier League.

The club have also entered into several other partnerships which are now discontinued, most extensively in Brazil with América Futebol Clube and J.J.'s football school in Rio de Janeiro. Other clubs who have previously entered partnerships with Feyenoord include Parramatta Power, Nagoya Grampus Eight, Boldklubben 1893, Helsingborgs IF, Supersport United, KVC Westerlo, KV Mechelen, Breiðablik UBK, FC Lyn Oslo, UKS SMS Lodz, Omiya Ardija and Jiangsu Shuntian.

Sponsorships

As of the 1981-82 Eredivisie season the KNVB allowed the teams participating in the league to use sponsor names on their shirts in exchange for money. At the time Feyenoord's shirts were produced by Adidas and the first main sponsor became the Dutch Yellow Pages called Gouden Gids. In the second half of the 1982-83 season Adidas were replaced by Puma as the shirt supplier. As a result the Gouden Gids name was enlarged and was more visible on the shirts. Gouden Gids sponsored the team until 1984, when Opel became the new sponsor. The deal between Feyenoord and Opel lasted until 1989, but in 1987 Puma no longer produced the shirts, but Hummel International. In 1989 Hummel produced the shirts sponsored by HCS. Adidas came back to the club in 1990, at the time that HCS got into big financial troubles and got bankrupt and was unable to sponsor Feyenoord any longer. Where HCS left Adidas stayed and the new main sponsor became Stad Rotterdam Verzekeringen. This turned out to be a longterm deal as they were Feyenoord's main sponsor until 2004, when it was overtaken by Fortis. Since that time Fortis is the club's sponsor and the current contract was extended to 2009 with an option of three more seasons on 18 January 2007, the day before Feyenoord was excluded from the UEFA Cup 2006-07. Feyenoord's kits are currently produced by Kappa, which replaced Adidas in 2000.

Feyenoord's contract with Kappa will end after the 2008/2009 season,after that season,Puma will produce Feyenoord's kits.

Years Main sponsor Years Shirt producer
1981-1984 Gouden Gids 1981-1982 Adidas
1984-1989 Opel 1982-1987 Puma
1989-1991 HCS 1987-1990 Hummel International
1991-2004 Stad Rotterdam Verzekeringen 1990-2000 Adidas
2004-present Fortis 2000-2009 Kappa

Honours

Dutch Trophies

  • Dutch Championships (14): 1924, 1928, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1984, 1993, 1999
  • Dutch Cup (11): 1930, 1935, 1965, 1969, 1980, 1984, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2008
  • Supercup: 1991, 1999

International Trophies

See also

References

External links

Official sites

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