First of all, an issue as contentious as this will always split public opinion, it would be a rather massive change for football in this country. If it does get instituted some day, expect many people to clamor for the return of national leagues, whereas if the situation stays as it is, many will keep calling for a BeNeLeague.
Secondly, the club one supports for plays a big role in moulding one´s viewpoint on this issue. As an Ajax fan, I might put more value on the international competitiveness of such a league than, say, a Heerenveen or Roda fan might. Keeping in mind that we are all subjective to some degree is prudent here.
Having said that, I am in favour of such a BeneLeague.
- There would be more strong clubs in the same league and a greater hinterland for each club. This would engender more competition, making it possible to attract and keep better players and benefit financially in a substantial way (TV money could be quite high with such a league, especially internationally).
- The artificiality of such a league is overstated IMO. Prior to 1956, we had no Eredivisie and people still took to it rather quickly. Habits can easily be replaced by new habits, traditions by new traditions. And I´m sure even the Dutch can learn that Mons is the French name for Bergen.
- If such a league comes into existence, we must do it the right way. For me, that means a league where promotion and relegation are done in an as natural way as possible. I´d put 11 Dutch teams and 7 Belgian teams in the unified BeNe first league, the other 7 Dutch Eredivisie teams and the other 9 Belgian Jupiler League teams in a unified BeNe second league and keep the rest as it is. Give it a decade and the ratio of Dutch vs. Belgian teams will be decided by quality alone, as it should be. I do not share your fears BTW that this would mean certain death for the smaller clubs: the lower leagues should be somewhat stronger in this scenario, and for instance Heracles-Cercle could be an interesting match in such a second league, especially if a place in the first league, with all of its´ financial and competitive benefits, is at stake.
I say bring it on.
Bring back the European Champions' Cup and Cup Winners' Cup please.
U pobjedi se ne zanosi, u porazu se ne ponizi.
"Ajax is als de Sagrada Familia. Nooit af, maar een bezoek waard."