The handball players of Hurry-Up from Zwartemeer have no chance against bankrupt Lions in a cup match. The curator decides how things will proceed

The handball players of Drenth Groep Hurry-Up were eliminated from the cup on Tuesday evening. In Sittard, the bankrupt Lions were much too strong for the Zwartemeerders with 39-28

It was a victory at home for Lions with a sad edge. The Limburg national champion has filed for bankruptcy due to major financial problems. This puts a curator at the club in charge. It was uncertain whether Lions’ cup match against Hurry-Up in the quarter-finals would be allowed to continue. It was not until Tuesday afternoon that permission was given for this after consultation with all those involved.

Prior to the cup match, the speaker called on the spectators in Sittard to support the Lions players, the board and the volunteers of the club “in these turbulent times”. Hurry-Up was the underlying party right from the start in the Stadssporthal. The visitors were no longer a shadow of the team that treated Lions to a fully deserved 31-28 defeat in Zwartemeer last Saturday.

Hurry-Up is far less successful

In Sittard the roles were reversed. Hurry-Up, which is far less successful than in Zwartemeer, was lagging behind from the start. Before the Drenthe people finally started playing handball, they were already behind 7-1. Hurry-Up was often too sloppy offensively in finishing, while the coverage also functioned poorly. The Lions players, who have no idea yet whether they can and may play any more games, had their sights set. At halftime, the Zwartemeers were trailing 21-15.

It was no longer exciting. When Hurry-Up scored, it immediately scored one or more goals. Lions continued to expand their lead after halftime and won the match well before the end. The only positive on the Hurry-Up side was the return of Patrick Miedema, who was sidelined for months with knee problems.

Lions wants to finish the competition

Despite the bankruptcy, Lions wants to complete both the cup tournament and the competition. In addition to the curator, this will also be discussed with the Dutch Handball Association and the organization of the BeNe League.

The Top Handbal Zuid-Limburg Foundation, which includes Lions, stated on Tuesday “after careful consideration and thorough legal advice, it has been decided to file for bankruptcy.” According to the foundation, there was no other option due to the major financial problems in which the club is in.

Judge agrees with former player João Jacob Ramos

Lions, a partnership of Vlug en Lenig from Geleen and Sittardia from Sittard, can no longer pay the bills and salaries of players and staff. This is due to the lost lawsuit against former player João Jacob Ramos. After a serious injury, the 32-year-old Portuguese was fobbed off with another job within the organization with a lower salary after nine seasons. He did not agree to this, after which the judge agreed with the player.

Ramos, who also played for Hurry-Up for a number of seasons before his period in Limburg, is entitled to a compensation of 50,000 euros. He has had Lions accounts seized to ensure payment. The foundation board calls the bankruptcy application inevitable and says it is aware of “the serious (emotional) impact that this decision entails.”

‘We can only do our sporting duty’

Although their salaries can no longer be paid, the Lions players are keen to continue playing their matches. “We can only do our sporting duty and play our matches as well as possible,” said Jur Eussen on Saturday after the defeat against Hurry-Up in Zwartemeer. “Even though we don’t get any money, we want to finish the season as best as possible. We agreed on that among ourselves.”

Lions is one of the top teams in the Netherlands. The Limburgers became champions of the BeNe-League twice and won the Dutch title four times. The Limburgers won the national cup three times and the Super Cup three times.

The Top Handbal Zuid-Limburg Foundation has considered appealing against the judge’s ruling in the Ramos case, but has decided not to do so. The route is not considered feasible because it would cause a lot of uncertainty and would take too long.

‘Everyone is in the dark’

According to board member Evert Hoiting, an extremely uncertain situation has arrived. “Everyone is in the dark,” he said earlier. “In the event of bankruptcy, all players are outlaws and can go wherever they want. Then the question arises of how committed the players are to the club and that also applies to sponsors.”

Ramos was proven right by the judge with his statement that because of his many temporary contracts he in fact had an indefinite employment contract with Lions. The ruling that player agreements are considered employment contracts has far-reaching consequences for amateur sport in general.

Lions Hurry Up 39-28

Rest position: 21-15.

Hurry Up Scores: Táko 8, Riksten 5, Boonstra 4, Bijl 3, Grácio 2, Miedema 2, Meijer, Hoogland, Wennink and Vermeer.

Lions top scorer: Schmeits 9.

Next game: Saturday, Visé, 8:15 p.m.: Visé-Hurry-Up.