The 2019-20 season in the Netherlands has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, with leaders Ajax denied the league title and no relegation from the Eredivisie and no promotion from the second tier.
The Dutch government extended a ban on major public events by three months on Tuesday, leading to the cancellation of the league season. Ajax were top — level on 56 points with AZ Alkmaar but ahead on goal difference — while Feyenoord were six points further back with nine matches remaining.
A Dutch Football Association statement read: “Unfortunately, with the cabinet’s most recent coronavirus measures, it has become impossible to play out the 2019-2020 season of professional football leagues in time.
“It will be crystal clear to everyone involved, from supporters and players to directors and referees, that public health always comes first; the decisions made today about the settlement of the running competitions are only a football problem in the perspective of what the coronavirus causes in society.
“Nevertheless, the professional football board is aware that today’s decisions will cause great disappointment in football for some.”
At the other end of the table, bottom-side RKC Waalwijk have been handed a reprieve along with ADO Den Haag. Cambuur and De Graafschap will remain in the second division despite being on course for promotion to the top flight, with the former 11 points clear before the cancellation.
“The professional football board, after consulting clubs, players and coaches, and with the approval of the Supervisory Board, has decided to stop the 2019-20 competition and to allow the allocation of European club football seats based on the current league table,” the statement continued.
“This is in accordance with UEFA guidelines. In relation to promotion and relegation, it has been decided not to promote and not to be relegated.”
Feyenoord manager Dick Advocaat, who replaced Jaap Stam in October and brought the club into title contention, signed a deal until the end of the campaign, but later agreed to stay on indefinitely until the situation was clear.