Following its decline in performance recently, FC Groningen found its reputation endangered after a series of scandals within the club.
“We’re in a crisis” says Mark-Jan Fledderus, the technical director of FC Groningen.
FC Groningen, currently sit at the bottom of the Eredivisie, the top division of Dutch professional football, experiencing their worst season since the club was founded in 1971.
The football club has not won a match since October, a fact that disappoints many of its fans.
“Terrible, absolutely terrible. Although there have been so many incidents at the administrative level and the players level, it’s not even surprising that they are losing”. says Bert Smallenbroek, a FC Groningen football fan and children’s trainer for FC Oesgstgeest.
While discussions around the players and their performance sparks public interest, many blame Mark-Jan Fledderus for making poor choices, leading to the downfall of the club. One of them was appointing Frank Wormurth, as Groningen’s first team coach.
In fact Wormurth, who was fired on the 14th of November 2022, is filing an arbitration case against the club. Speaking with NOS Wormurth said, “There is a lack of a correct account of the facts. Also, causes and consequences are not presented in accordance with the facts”.
What Wormurth refers to is Fledderus’ justification for his dismissal, regarding his inability to develop and maintain a strong team. A statement that Wormurth declared as false, relaying the pressure and “daily difficult and mentally harmful work situation at the club”.
Although Fledderus acknowledges these results as his responsibility, another side to the story might exist. This time, it directly targets players themselves.
Accordingly, two players, namely Cyril Ngonge and Nordin Mussampa have recently received the ‘maximum” fine for arriving to training late.
Fledderus claimed being unable to tell whether alcohol was involved or not, but the player’s late arrival and inability to play constituted a sufficient motive for the fine.
Ngonge was already removed from the selection for unclear reasons in September, suggesting that the current problems faced by the club are not recent.
The football club also faces serious group cohesion problems, as a result of significant changes that have occurred, including the sale of Strand Larsen, a former key player and recent signing of five other players, a point on which Fledderus has been largely criticized.
“I am concerned about the club’s future, it does not look good” claims Smallenbroek. According to him, without solving the internal issues faced by the club, FC Groningen’s survival in the Eredivisie cannot be guaranteed.
* Due to the source’s vulnerability, the Groningen Observer chose to keep this statement anonymous.