A merger between the top clubs soccer in the Netherlands and Belgium could generate between €250 million (US$275 million) and €400 million (US$440 million) a season from television rights deals.
The rights revenue figure would represent a significant increase on the current contracts held by the Dutch Eredivisie and Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League, which both receive around €80 million (US$88 million) each per year.
Representatives from 11 of the top clubs in the Netherlands and Belgium reportedly met recently in Eindhoven to further discuss the idea of the BeneLiga. The Dutch Football Association (KNVB), the governing body for soccer in the Netherlands, and its Belgian counterpart (KBVB) were also present.
Ajax, Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven, AZ Alkmaar, FC Utrecht and Vitesse were reportedly the Dutch teams in attendance, while Anderlecht, Club Brugge, RC Genk, AA Gent and Standard Liège represented Belgium.
If everything goes well, the joint league could commence playing in 2025, adding that the competition would feature ten Dutch clubs and eight Belgian sides competing within a system of promotion and relegation.
The concept of a merger has existed for some time but gathered pace last year when consultancy company Deloitte was hired to look into the feasibility of the two leagues joining forces.
In October, the KNVB reported back on the first phase of Deloitte’s findings, noting that the initial studies showed that a merger ‘has a potential significant value increase’.