Feyenoord must continue to follow a steady course on the pitch and also off it in terms of organisation and finances. The way to achieve that is gradual evolution. That was the most important message of new general director Eric Gudde Tuesday evening in the traditional New Year speech. Gudde, who unfurled a vision for both short and long term, also had some news: the launch of the Feyenoord Investment Fund 2008. The new investment model gives backers the opportunity to invest in talented transfer targets. ‘We have some room for investment, which we haven’t had for a long time,’ said Gudde.

Eric Gudde chose not to linger too long on the mistakes of 2007. In his first speech as general manager Gudde preferred to concentrate on a number of positive events (such as the installation of the Supervisory Board and the launch of investment models) that lay the foundations for the club’s resurrection.

With respect to sporting ambitions, the sky is the limit, but ‘it would be wrong to express exaggerated expectations. Let’s not forget that this season’s goal was to compete for a place between second and fifth.’

The tenor was unambiguous: realism must be the guiding principle at De Kuip – in all areas. ‘Despite the improved prospects, Feyenoord is not finished yet. The course is clear: Feyenoord is working hard to build a strong, durable organisational and financial foundation. In the short term there is greater stability financially, that’s true, but there are still debts and Feyenoord must continue to be thrifty, and especially not to spend unwisely so as not to put itself back in danger,’ said Gudde.

The new stadium was another long-term matter underscored by Gudde. The authentic De Kuip atmosphere has to be safeguarded in the new arena and it must provide extra revenues. ‘The stadium has to be nationally and internationally distinctive. Nationally, because clubs like AZ, Heerenveen and Groningen, because of their new stadiums, are getting perceptibly closer in terms of budget. And internationally, to be able to keep up with any developments in European football.’

‘So we are delighted that on 21 November the mayor’s cabinet in Rotterdam told both the KNVB in connection with the 2018 World Cup and the council that they share Feyenoord’s ambition to build a new stadium that has to be the landmark of Rotterdam, with at least 75,000 spectators,’ said Gudde, who expressed satisfaction about the constructive partnership with the city and his hope that the 2016 deadline could be brought forward somewhat.

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Feyenoord Business CLub