Sherida Spitse from Emmen is fighting for better pay for football players in the Premier League. “You’re not going to work for free at Albert Heijn, are you?”

Sherida Spitse (33) can try to win an Olympic ticket in Seville on Friday evening in her 227th international match at the expense of world champion Spain. Deep in her heart, however, there is an even bigger battle to be won off the field.

Sometimes it frustrates her so much that Friezin Sherida Spitse, who lives in Emmen, sometimes muses about a transfer to one of the absolute top clubs in European women’s football. For example, if she has to play a competition match with Ajax in the province on a side field and there is no challenge. That she only half-plays a duel, because she will get the ball anyway.

But then the record international also thinks about those wonderful matches she plays with the national champions in the Champions League this season. In which she has to give everything. “Just like in the Dutch national team. Then you are really challenged and you always have to be there,” she says.

Good shape

Thanks in part to those matches against PSG, Bayern Munich and AS Roma, Spitse has been able to maintain her good form, the form in which she excelled against England at Wembley. Matches in which her teammate Romée Leuchter was again in the picture for national coach Andries Jonker.

But the competition is sometimes torture, the resistance is so questionable. Spitse agrees, but she doesn’t think it’s strange: “Not all Premier League clubs can train at full capacity. Too many preconditions are missing. The facilities and the compensation are just not okay.”

‘Give everyone a contract’

When she just returned to the Premier League last season, she thought: ‘oh well, you have to give it time’. “But we have been working on the Women’s Eredivisie for a while now, haven’t we? Then AZ and FC Utrecht get out, then they get back in. Then I think: get into it properly! Give everyone a contract to start with.”

Of course, there is such a thing as a budget. “But you’re not going to work at Albert Heijn for free, are you? Or for travel expenses? That is exactly the same thing that many players in the Netherlands experience. It’s our job and you can at least expect a minimum wage, right? That part really lies with the KNVB, because according to the license conditions each club must only have four contract players. That’s nothing at all, that’s not possible.”

A little angry

At least, not if you want to raise the level of the competition. “It doesn’t cost that much money. If you really want something, like Ajax, you will eventually see that it pays off. Look how well we are doing in the Champions League. More than 20,000 tickets have already been sold for Chelsea and we still have a month to go. Look, we want everything in the Netherlands. But then you have to offer our girls the opportunity to be full professionals. That is not being done and that makes me a bit angry.”

After the 2-1 win over AS Roma, which allowed Ajax to reach the knockout phase of the Champions League, the veteran applied for a dream transfer with a nod. It came down to the fact that ‘old Spitse’ can still play football very well.

Would Barcelona, ​​the strongest women’s team in the world, be something for her? Finally, Spitse won prizes with all her clubs and the Dutch team. After a burst of laughter has died down: “They only notice how much influence I have when I actually play there. I have always had a share in the achievements, I always take up that challenge. But I don’t just exchange Ajax: it is my club. And Barça is very good.”