Frustration of amateur clubs about the lax attitude of the municipality at Corpus den Hoorn sports park in Groningen. ‘So far we have only seen talk but no action’

The amateur clubs at Corpus den Hoorn sports park are increasingly hitting their heads against the wall. They accuse the municipality of Groningen of lack of decisiveness in solving the space problem.

On ‘Corpus’ the problems only increase. In 2022, after disastrous discussions between the sports clubs and FC Groningen, the bomb exploded. There is not enough training space in the cramped sports park. It was examined to what extent clubs were entitled to use the fields.

The municipal council instructed the alderman to take the lead in dividing the space and to pay more attention to recreational sports. Little has come of this, according to the boards of the amateur clubs. Groen Geel, GRC, Caribe, Groningen Giants, Groningen Student Rugby Club and the referees association.

In a letter to the municipal council, they accuse the alderman of not taking control and making choices. “Nothing has yet been done by the municipality to provide more space. A steering group has been set up that has no mandate and therefore no decision can be made,” according to the boards of the associations.

FC Groningen is growing

The amateur clubs on ‘Corpus’ have no opportunity to grow. “This is in contrast to FC Groningen,” they wrote to the city council. “They have grown by two teams over the past two seasons and may grow again next year. This makes even less space available for GRC and GroenGeel. In short, this means sheer decline.”

GRC even has a membership freeze. The amateur clubs find it annoying and undesirable that they cannot discuss the management of some fields in the steering group. “The only party that has perseverance is the municipality. They must now really take control and make choices for recreational sports. So far we have only seen talk, but no action,” the boards said.

Conversion to artificial grass?

For example, it has been suggested that field 5 be converted to artificial grass. The amateur clubs think this is a great idea, but clear agreements must be made about its use, preferably by the amateur clubs. Only then will they be prepared to make a financial contribution to the conversion of the field. “Paying means helping to decide, otherwise the construction of an artificial grass field has no added value.”

Finally, the possibility of also changing the soft and baseball field of Caribe to artificial grass was discussed. This would make one or two half fields available for GRC youth at times when Caribe is not playing or training. The municipality considers it an expensive solution. They first want to focus on the possible conversion of field 5.

The council regularly discusses the shortage of space on ‘Corpus’. The mayor and aldermen do not have a ready-made solution. By agreement, FC Groningen claims part of the scarce field complex. The council believes that recreational sports should have an advantage. This has not yet led to a redistribution that offers the amateur footballers of GRC and GroenGeel any relief.

The CDA wants to know from the mayor and aldermen when the municipality will hit the nail on the head. And has there already been discussions with FC Groningen about a possible move of the training sessions to another location? The council faction also insists on the rapid conversion of two grass fields to artificial grass fields.