The Bosman ruling.

Bosman

Since we are getting close to the UEFA Champions league finals , it os a good time to look back at one player who has had a major impact on European and indeed world football.

But ironically this player never played in any of the Champions league finals, he didn’t even get close. However the actions of this player had a great consequence to one of the potential finalists this year, AJAX FC.

Ajax last won the champion ship in 1995 when they beat AC Milan 1-0 on the 24th of May.

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In that same year 1995 ,10 days before Christmas a player  for RFC Liège in the Belgian First Division in Belgium.Jean-Marc Bosman left the courts with an early Christmas present.

Jean-Marc Bosman whose contract had expired in 1990, wanted to change teams and move to Dunkerque, a French club. However, Dunkerque declined  to meet Bosman’s Belgian club’s transfer fee demand, so Liège refused to release Bosman.

In the meantime, Bosman’s wages were reduced as he was no longer a first-team player.He took his case to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and sued for restraint of trade, citing FIFA’s rules regarding football, specifically Article 17.

On 15 December 1995, the court ruled the system, as it was constituted, placed a restriction on the free movement of workers.

This ruling meant Bosman and every other EU footballer were free to negotiate deals to any other EU based team after their current contracts expired, they were also allowed to sign pre-contract deals with other clubs if they had six months remaining on their current deals. This ruling also stopped UEFA imposing quotas on how many foreign players are allowed to play in a team at any one time. At the time UEFA were imposing a quota on their European Cup competitions that only allowed three non nationals in a team on match days. However these quotas were not fully outlawed, it could not be used to restrict the amount of non EU players on a match day team.

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Although this ruling may look to be have been good news for players it did have unintended consequences for the smaller footballing nations.

Big UEFA member associations like the England,Germany,Spain, Italy and France who had and still have substantial financial means were able to offer massive salaries to players. And therefore attracted many of the talented players from  the smaller,or less well of associations and leaving clubs who used to be very successful on the European stage with often depleted teams. Teams like Ajax who have a well establshed academy lost a lot of their trained pupils to the bigger teams.

It had taken Ajax 24 years to get back to the top of European football.

The salaries of some of the players are beyond believe and it will only be a matter of time before it comes unsustainable to continue paying players the amounts they get played now.

As for Jean-Marc Bosman himself, his life did not come up roses either.Despite receiving a £312,000 compensation package in 1998, he has since struggled with an alcohol addiction, as well as depression.

In 2013 he was sentenced to a one-year prison sentence for domestic abuse. As of 2015, Bosman was unemployed and relying on handouts from FIFPro ,the worldwide representative organisation for 65,000 professional footballers.

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Sources

https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/sports-law/the-bosman-ruling.php

https://betting.betfair.com/football/this-week-in-football-history/this-week-in-football-history-the-birth-of-the-bosman-ruling-and-boros-no-show-151214-723.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/12050567/Jean-Marc-Bosman-20-years-on-He-paid-a-heavy-price-for-beating-the-system-now-he-wants-to-end-it-for-good.html

Sjaak Swart-The football legend that nearly didn’t happen.

Swart

For the size of the country it is astonishing how many football greats come from the Netherlands.

Names like Johann Cruijff,Johan Nesskens,Ruud Gullit,Marco van Basten and Arjen Robben to name but a few, but the name Sjaak Swart certainly belongs in that list. Sjaak (Sjakie) Swart was pivotal to the successes of Ajax in  1971 to 1973  the 2 consecutive years when they won the European Cup.

For his 31 caps for the Dutch National team he scored 10 goals.

However the legendary midfielder nearly never kicked a ball, leave alone score goals and win cups.

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Born in in the small fishing village of Muiderberg some 20 kilometres east of Amsterdam in 1938 as Jesaia Swart , the son of a Jewish Fisherman.

His father and he were forced to disguise themselves as non-Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands from 1940 to 1945, hiding from the prying eyes of both Germans and Dutch collaborators, who rounded up any Jewish men, women and children in the country. Living a life comparable to a nightmare , fearing every knock at the the door Sjaak and his father managed to survive the war and the extermination of nearly 75 per cent of the Jewish population of the Netherlands.

The siblings of Louis Swart,Sjaak’s father, all died Louis would never have anymore children because as part of escaping the Nazis he had himself sterilized.

Not much is known about Sjaak’s mother ,all that I discovered it that she lived long enough to hand Sjaak his first Ajax jersey,she died of cancer in 1948. The gift of that jersey by his mother sealed his life long loyalty to the club.

Swart, joined the Ajax academy in 1949.He is still involved in Football today, aged 80.

What I find amazing about this is that although I am a big fan of the men in Orange, the Dutch National team, I never knew that Sjakie Swart was Jewish and had survived the horrors and a most certain death if he had been caught.

It is also an indication that the Holocaust is still in the living memory of so many.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Voetbal International

niw.nl

AFC Ajax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hamburger SV-Altona 93:Final score 4-2. The match on April 29, 1945.

FOOTBALL

There was a bit of a scandal this week in Dublin. On of the Dublin based soccer teams,Ballybrack, pretended that one of their star players was killed in a car crash. The team wanted to postpone an up coming match and came up with the death as an excuse. The ting is though there was no crash, the player didn’t die in fact he knew nothing of this  at all.

This bizarre incident reminded me of another bizarre soccer event. On April 29, 1945 two Hamburg teams, Hamburger SV and Altona 93 played a league match.

 

Some of you might think how bizarre was that.Well, compared to the aforementioned Irish team that was desperate to avoid playing, the 2 Hamburg teams were desperate to play the match despite a remarkable backdrop.

Hamburger SV was without 3 of its star players Rudi Noak, Werner Höffmann and Eugen Kahl, but that wasn’t what made this match so remarkable. The date was April 29 1945. Nearly everyone in Germany must have known the war was coming to an end. Even Hitler knew because on that same day he married Eva Braun, knowing quite well that they would end their lives the following day.

The Dachau concentration camp was liberated by American forces. Nearer to Hamburg about 50 km away at Lauenburg,British forces crossed the Elbe river just a few hours before the match started.

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Despite all this ,hundreds of football fans would make their way to the stadium, not knowing what fate awaited them.

Hamburger SV beat Altona 93 by 4-2in what would be the last soccer match of the third reich.

 

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Matthias Sindelar-Protest through football.

anschluss

It is often believed that the Austrians accepted the annexation lying down. For a big part that was true however not every one was so enthusiastic about the ‘Anschluss’

Of Czech descent, Sindelar was born Matěj Šindelář in Kozlov, Moravia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the son of Jan Šindelář, a blacksmith, and his wife Marie (née Švengrová). Sindelar-autDespite occasional claims that Sindelar was of Jewish origin, the family was Catholic.They moved to Vienna in 1905 and settled in the district of Favoriten, which had a large Czech-speaking community. Young Matěj/Matthias began playing football in the streets of Vienna.

Sindelar was spotted playing in the street with a ball made from rags and joined the local Hertha club at the age of 15, a year after his father was killed on the Italian front during World War I. Before long he moved to the Vienna Amateurs, later to be renamed FK Austria Vienna, and soon broke into the first team despite a persistent knee injury. Many put his elusive style of play down to the fear of receiving a career-ending knock to his permanently bandaged knee

He played as a centre-forward for the celebrated Austria national team of the early 1930s known as the Wunderteam, which he captained at the 1934 World Cup.

Known as “The Mozart of football” or Der Papierene – ‘The Paper Man” for his slight build, he was renowned as one of the finest pre-war footballers, known for his fantastic dribbling ability and creativity.

Matthias Sindelar

Copyright Votavafoto Vienna

VOTAVA

Sindelar, an awkward, edgy character, had made clear that he was fundamentally opposed to the Anschluss, but, despite the fact that, at 35, he had begun to wind down his international career, he insisted on playing.

Sport was of course a key element in the Nazi propaganda machine, The 1936 Summer Olympic games gad all been about the Nazi image.

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April 3, 1938, the Prater Stadium in Vienna. For 69 minutes Matthias Sindelar, playing for his national side, does as he’s told. He passes up chance after chance during a ‘friendly’ match against Germany ,who just a few weeks earlier annexed his beloved Austria. This game – designed as a celebration of this ‘connection’ – was an official welcoming back of Austria into the Reich. Having been advised not to score, Sindelar keeps missing the easiest of chances.

Then, in the 70th minute, he tucks home a rebound and scores , much to the surprise of the 60,000 crowd, who are fully expecting the game to fizzle out into a diplomatic 0-0 draw.

sindelar_6

Then his team-mate and friend Schasti Sesta blasts home a free-kick to make it 2-0, and the pair dance a jig of delight in front of a box full of Nazi dignitaries.

Capture

In the months that followed, Sindelar, who never made any secret of his Social Democratic leanings, repeatedly refused to play for Germany. In August 1938, he bought a café from Leopold Drill, a Jew forced to give it up under new legislation. paying DM 20,000  and was censured by the authorities for his reluctance to put up Nazi posters.

On the morning of January 23, 1939, Matthias Sindelar was found dead in his apartment, above the coffee house he had acquired the previous year, lying next to Camilla Castagnola, his new girlfriend. The official verdict was accidental death caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. However, the break-up of the team and city he loved had gradually forced Sindelar into depression and many felt he took his own life in a suicide pact with his girlfriend. There is a third theory, though: foul play. The police investigation was forcibly cancelled by the Nazis after a few months, and the files pertaining to the case disappeared soon afterwards.

Ehrengrab_Matthias_Sindelar

 

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Eddy Hamel- Player of AFC AJAX,killed in Auschwitz.

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AFC Ajax is one of the most well known football clubs in Europe if not the world.Aside from dozens of national trophies it also won 12 international trophies, a feat repeated by only a few other clubs.

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Historically, Ajax was popularly seen as having “Jewish roots”. Although not an official Jewish club like the city’s WV-HEDW, Ajax has had a Jewish image since the 1930s when the home stadium was located next to a Jewish neighbourhood of Amsterdam-Oost and opponents saw many supporters walking through the Nieuwmarkt/Waterloopleinbuurt (de Jodenhoek—the “Jews’ corner”) to get to the stadium.

Die-hard Ajax supporters call themselves “Joden” — Dutch for “Jews” — a nickname that reflects both the team’s and the city’s Jewish heritage. This nickname for Ajax fans dates back to before World War II, when Amsterdam was home to most of the Netherlands’ 140,000 Jews.

The club  has an academy where it draws most of its players from but it has also always attracted foreign players. Eddy Hamel was no exception.

Hamel was the first Jewish player for Ajax. Born in New York City, New York, he moved to Amsterdam in his teenage years. As a right winger, Hamel became a first team regular for Ajax. He was the first player with a Jewish background who made it to the first team, and to date only three others have followed in his footsteps – Johnny Roeg, Bennie Muller and Daniël de Ridder. Hamel was a fan favourite and was cited by pre-World War II club legend Wim Anderiesen as part of the strongest line-up he ever played with.He was Ajax’ right winger from 1922 to 1930.  He scored eight goals in 125 league games.

After his retirement as a player, he managed RKV Volendam, in 1935 they became champion and he also managed  Alcmaria Victrix for three years and continued to play in an Ajax veteran squad.

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Hamel was also to become the club’s only war victim who played for the first team of Ajax. In 1941 all Jewish players were dishonorably discharged from their clubs as decreed by the Nazi’s.He possessed a United States passport, which he could not produce when Nazi Germany invaded.

In October 1942 Eddy Hamel and his family were arrested and deported to Westerbork to the “English Baracks” where he meets and befriends Leon Greenman.

He was murdered in the Auschwitz concentration camp on 30 April 1943. In the TV document Auschwitz: The Forgotten Evidence, fellow inmate and friend  Leon Greenman said he was in front of Eddy when he told him he had an abscess in his mouth, while in a regular medical selection queue, while Leon passed that selection Eddy was sent to the gas chambers because of his abscess.

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