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'BeNeLiga’: Analyzing The Proposed Merger of The Netherlands And Belgian Football Leagues

Belgium and Netherlands flag
Friday, 21 May 2021 By Sven Demeulemeester, Niels Verborgh

Amid the talk about a European Super League and reform of UEFA competitions, a more modest new league is the talk of the town in the low countries (the Netherlands and Belgium).

In an attempt to narrow the gap with the corresponding powerhouses in the big 5 domestic European leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), the top clubs in Belgium and the Netherlands are looking to set up a ‘BeNeLiga’.

This article discusses the proposed league structure of a new joint Belgium-Netherlands league along with the issues prompting the proposal. Specifically, it looks at:

  • Background to the merger - The Need for International Competitiveness  
  • The envisaged format
  • Issues surrounding the proposal
  • Re-landscaping European football

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Written by

Sven Demeulemeester

Sven Demeulemeester

Sven Demeulemeester is partner with ALTIUS and founding partner of ATFIELD. Sven is a member of the International Football Association (AIAF) and he is also the former director of a professional football club. Sven is ranked in Chambers, praised by Legal500 for his expertise in sports law and recognized as a Global Leader in Sports by Who’s Who Legal.

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Niels Verborgh

Niels Verborgh

Niels advises a wide range of Belgian and international clients on all aspects of sports law, including employment-related disputes, disciplinary proceedings and regulatory matters.

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