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New Year"s speech by Rob Westerhof (

10 jan 2006 - Source:

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PSV Chairman Rob Westerhof delivered his traditional New Year's speech during a well-attended New Year's reception in the Philips Stadium Business ClubHere is the integral text of his speech. WelcomeI would like to extend a cordial welcome to you at our New Year’s reception. On behalf of PSV, I wish you and your beloved ones a happy and healthy new year and I hope you will have a host of joyful moments, both in your family and with PSV. All people involved with PSV maintained closely-knit ties last year, which resulted into a positive image. We have been backed wonderfully by the Board Commissioners, honorary members, PSV officials, former members of the board and volunteers. The members of our staff have had an extremely hectic year, due to the huge successes that PSV have gained and the new activities and I would like to praise them for all of their efforts. I am delighted so many business partners are present today and we trust we can continue to count on your support. I would like to discuss a few items, among which the successes we have gained. Sports achievementsLast year has been outstanding. Although our budget is considerably lower than our opponents’, we have done well at the European stage and beat Monaco as well as Lyon before we were eliminated by AC Milan in two legs, only on goal difference.We will never forget the final ten minutes, if not the entire game here is this stadium; that event is indelibly printed in our memory. PSV have established a great reputation and many people in the world of football have taken us to their hearts. Last year we only drew one game at home (against FC Twente) and we enjoyed victory in all the other games. We finished the first part of 2005 in style by clinching the ‘double’. We were Dutch champions, following some fabulous wins. We pulled off an emphatic 4-0 win over Ajax and we won the title at home by beating Vitesse. Our captain Mark van Bommel presented the championship plate to him last April. We proudly lifted the Dutch Amstel Cup after we had seen off Willem 4-0 in the Cup final in the Rotterdam Kuip. A huge complimentOur technical staff and the players of our first team squad, including the newcomers, deserve a huge compliment for the way they have achieved these stunning achievements. We had to bid a fond farewell to Mark van Bommel, Johann Vogel, Ji-Sung Park, Young Pyo Lee and Wilfred Bouma during the summer transfer window. We welcomed Robert at the beginning of 2005 and Jason Culina, Arouna Koné, Timmy Simons, Mika Väyrynen, Michael Reiziger and Michael Ball during the summer. The Argentinian Ferreyra joined us on loan. When Mark van Bommel left the club, Philip Cocu took over the captain’s armband and he has been exemplary as captain. Right now we are looking good. We are on top of the Dutch league; we have progressed to the Champions League knock-out stages and we are still in contention in the Dutch Cup. But we realize some very tough fixtures have been scheduled. We will meet Lyon once again and we face fierce competition in the Dutch league. Our medical staff, physiotherapists and fitness coaches have greatly contributed to the successes and the jolly good atmosphere at de Herdgang training ground has also been beneficial to the successes that have been gained.Financial and commercial affairsYou may have read that we have suffered a 11,3 million euro loss, following 4,9 and 15 million euro losses in the two previous years, which is a serious matter. It may not be as bad as it seems at first sight, but it is high time to make a profit again. As we own and exploit the stadium, we can afford to suffer losses for a number of years, as we can borrow money from the bank. The majority of clubs does not own a stadium and could thus not possibly afford such losses. We predict a satisfactory result for this year, due to, among other issues, various activities organized in the stadium and hopefully lower interest charges. It is our first priority to complete a new way of defraying the costs of the stadium under more favourable conditions. At the same time we are having negotiations with parties on letting empty spaces in the stadium as showrooms or places to organize events. SupportersOur fans certainly deserve praise as well. They have supported our team superbly both at home and on our travels. They have been tremendous in their support and our department Security considered it safe to remove the gates around the pitch. And we pride ourselves in De Herdgang. Building activities at our new youth training grounds are in full swing and whenever you are around, you should not forget to play a visit.Play-offsI would like to make the following statements on the play-offs system. Our country has a different tradition and also climate from, e.g. England, so that we are advocates of a longer winter break. Moreover we feel the players need more rest. Season ticket holders visited the festive season games, but the play-offs have been introduced to increase the proceeds of the television rights. We will wait and see whether the broadcasting licence-holders that have acquired these rights will be able to generate adequate profits. PSV still doing not back the idea of play-offs, but we will not assess them until the end of the season. Social affairsThe cooperation with the press, excellently supervised by our Press & Communication department, was good, in particular during the Champions League trips. As to the new media, several subjects were passed in review. Dynamic employees of this department have succeeded in launching a website in China, which is the number three of all football sites, as far as the number of ‘hits’ is concerned. Apart from that, we have developed activities, where partners, among whom TNO, Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, think along with us on future technological issues. Our commercial department has succeeded in adequately maintaining the level of sponsor money and we appeal to all sponsors to continue backing our club through thick and thin.MiscellaneousWe mourn the deaths of Toon Brusselers, honorary member and former first team player and Mr Van Riemsdijk, who was also an honorary member of our club. Mr Frits Philips passed away on 5 December last. He had celebrated his 100th birthday on 16 April 2005 in glorious fashion. . Frits Philips was very likely the last true patriarch of the club and was symbol that stood for the many values that we want to maintain in and with our club. Finally I would like to thank you for the trust you put in us and we wish our team good luck and hope they will be successful in 2006 as well.Thank you for your attention