Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Champions League Vital for PSV

As Ajax paraded their third consecutive Eredivisie title around a confetti-filled Amsterdam ArenA, one would have expected a funereal sense of deflation back in Eindhoven. Whilst natural disappointment surfaced amongst PSV fans, the club's UEFA Champions League qualification created an overpowering excitement.

PSV will return for first time since 2008.
After five years away, PSV secured a place in the preliminary rounds of Europe's premier cup competition with an exhilaration 4-2 win over NEC; their place assured as near rivals Feyenoord and Vitesse slipped to defeats. Whilst the club is still required to win two playoff matches to enter the Group Stages, it was important that they held the challenge from Rotterdam and Arnhem at bay. Both clubs had pretensions of overtaking PSV in the Eredivisie power hierarchy, so this Champions League return presents something of a reality check.

Philips Sport Vereniging is, of course, a club with an illustrious European history. Winners under Guus Hiddink in 1988, the club also experienced more recent success when pushing AC Milan all the way in a classic 2005 semi-final. Therefore, such a long absence from the competition was difficult to foresee, and even harder to endure. However, finishing second this season under Dick Advocaat has afforded PSV the opportunity to regain lost European glory.
Past-winners...Hiddink hoists European Cup for PSV, 1988.

In this modern era, clubs require the vast income streams which accompany Champions League football more than ever before. When such financial support is restricted for five years, any club accustomed to it is bound to struggle. PSV Eindhoven were no different; the club suffering financial troubles and requiring external assistance from the local council as the domestic slide continued. Thus, the Champions League will provide a healthy cash injection, with the club potentially receiving 2.1 million Euros just for progression to the Playoff round. Therefrom, the financial rewards become incrementally more luxurious, with the clubs end aim of Group Stage qualification attached to a 8.6 million Euro bounty. In essence, Champions League football is the antidote for PSV Eindhoven.

Players want Champions League.
This additional income, in coherence with the impressive Champions League 'tag,' will also help PSV in their summer recruitment drive. Nowadays, the top players will not even consider a club which does not play European football of the highest order. For instance, Adam Maher, a player who features highly on the radar of PSV decision-makers, has expressed his desire to play regular Champions League football. In crucial negotiations with transfer targets, dangling the carrot of Champions League football may just prove a deal-clincher!

Therefore, it becomes even clearer that Champions League participation is pivotal to the standing of a football club. With it secured, PSV will once again be able to attract the best talent without having to overspend on expensive gambles. As the club begins to recruit a better quality of player, the magical European nights will return, the lustre will return, the respect will return. In securing a UEFA Champions League place, PSV Eindhoven will rejoin the elite.

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