After several days of speculation the proposed merger of Dutch teams Roda JC and Fortuna Sittard won’t be taking place. The fusion of the two teams to be known as Sporting Limburg, after the province both sides were based, in had caused a great deal of controversy and was highly unpopular amongst both sets of fans.
It is a remarkable turnaround, especially so as it had been announced that a merger between the two sides was necessary for both clubs to continue profitably. The group Stuurgroep Topvoetbal Limburg was the catalyst for the fusion between the two teams, but announced today that the deal won’t be going ahead, and both teams will continue in their present state.
The main reason for the collapse of the deal stems from the provincial authority in Limburg, who announced on Wednesday that they wouldn’t be supporting the club financially. The cash injection the province would have provided was one of the main criteria for the merger to take place. Without that finance both clubs have got cold feet over the deal and have pulled out. Both teams now feel that a merger would have no added value to either side.
The news will be welcomed by both sets of fans, who were largely against the merger. A large scale demonstration took place at the weekend at the Roda JC-Ajax match with banners stating the fans’ opposition to the plans and mourning the loss of the club. For Fortuna fans, equally, the news will come as a relief. Seemingly the junior partner in the deal, it was hard to see what would be left of the club following the merger. For a team with such an illustrious past it would have been an ignominious end.
Walter Townsend, Goal.com