‘We did everything we could to keep Dirk at Feyenoord,’ confirms chairman Jorien Van den Herik. ‘We went a long way to do that and Dirk was open to that, but we knew that the chance was he would leave if his dream club came in. Liverpool, that too was known, was and is his dream club. Many clubs have tried to contract Dirk over the recent period, but he’s said no to clubs every time because they were not appealing enough, despite there being some very renowned clubs among them. That characterises Dirk’s attitude: either Feyenoord or my dream club.’
Feyenoord, Dirk Kuyt and the player’s agent Rob Jansen have always said that a transfer would only happen if everyone was agreed. ‘All parties have kept their promises,’ says Jorien Van den Herik, ‘and the response was always no up to now, but when Liverpool came knocking with a serious offer we knew that a transfer was an option.’
‘It is a pity for Feyenoord, but we do not begrudge him this step,’ continues Van den Herik. ‘We have to be thankful to Dirk for his effort and loyalty to Feyenoord and its supporters. He deserves respect and a big farewell from Feyenoord and we hope that he returns to De Kuip after his foreign career.’
Dirk Kuyt is delighted with his switch to the 2005 UEFA Champions League winners. ‘For me Liverpool is to be sure the dream club I was looking for. There was more interest from abroad, but for me there was nothing of the calibre of Liverpool, a brilliant club with an enormous reputation and fantastic empathetic support – and a fabulous history. It is an honour to play for a club like that.’
‘I leave Feyenoord with mixed feelings. I have experienced three great years in Rotterdam, despite us not winning any major prizes. The crowd continued to adopt a positive attitude in spite of that. Feyenoord supporters are the sort of fans any club would like to have in their stadium. I will always respect that, as I respect all the people at the club. That is why I consider it an honour that the chairman wanted to see me back at De Kuip. That is an expression of appreciation. I wish the players, coaches and all fans a great deal of success this season. From England I will continue to follow everything that happens at De Kuip.’
Jorien Van den Herik acknowledges that the transfer has come at an unfortunate moment, so close to the start of the league season. ‘But you cannot blame Dirk for that, that is the fault of the European transfer system. The leagues are well underway in many European countries, but there is a great degree of uncertainty until 31 August. The transfer window system up to and including 31 August simply does not work, it really has to be discussed at European level. Due to the system, coaches and players are in a state of protracted uncertainty and we clubs are not sure what can happen. Dirk’s transfer is an example of that.’
Dirk Kuyt will remain in Liverpool on Thursday for his medical and to tie up the last details of his contract. Feyenoord and Liverpool will not be making any announcements as to the transfer fee.