It was an otherwise normal late spring Monday in the industrious Dutch city of Rotterdam, with a large crowd of people from the city roaming the streets. It was a special day and a thick layer of clouds covered the sun. The day when Feyenoord of the Eredivisie and its representative city celebrate their first league title in six years together.
Feyenoord have previously kicked off their celebrations with a mathematically secured league title, but this will be the most special of all trophy anniversaries. The city came alive, with people in red, white and green thronging the streets in support of Feyenoord players, staff and the title. They brought flare and unmatched energy.
Feyenoord CEO Dennis Te Klose said it was “beyond our imagination”. The Athletic in june. “It was so special that so many people went out of their way to get a glimpse of the players and the trophy on Monday morning.
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Former LA Galaxy general manager Te Klose joined Feyenoord after the 2021 MLS season and helped oversee this transition into a new era.
In his first season the club reached the UEFA Conference League final. The following summer saw the sale of a number of key players to rebalance the finances, with the club selling Luis Sinisterra to Leeds United, Tyrrell Marasia to Manchester United, Marcos Senesi to Bournemouth and a Frédéric Ausness transferred to Benfica. All four started in the conference league finals.
Surprisingly, with a number of new signings, including the top three top scorers, signed over the summer, Feyenoord was quickly signed for the 2022/23 season. From October 2nd to the final game of the season, he was undefeated and had already won the title.
Orkan Kok has been sold (to Benfica), but Feyenoord retains a strong squad and no player is more important than head coach Arne Slott. Sloth was involved in Tottenham’s appointment as manager, but following discussions with Feyenoord, Slott has decided to sign a new deal and stay on as the club return to the Champions League this autumn.
Feyenoord are in their best position in over five years, with a league title, financial stability, a young manager who has turned down interest in the Premier League and a young and successful team on a long-term deal.
“When coaches, players and staff put in an outstanding performance, it’s only natural that England and other countries will be interested,” said Te Klose. “We do our best by creating great projects and the best professional atmosphere, so you can’t just quit.”
Leaving his previous job was a little easier. Te Klose’s tenure with the Galaxy was marked by a lack of definition regarding his roles and responsibilities. Mr. Te Krose realized that by the end of his term he would have to retire. When Feyenoord came, he said, it was a no-brainer.
The Galaxy have risen in the last six weeks from a low early in the season that saw fan outcry until chairman Chris Klein stepped down, but they are still far from the lofty expectations of being the most successful club in MLS history.
“It’s painful to see their situation,” admitted Te Krose.
Te Krose arrived at the Galaxy ahead of the 2019 season after working for the Mexican federation. He spearheaded the hiring process for Guillermo Barros Chelotto, helping to secure players such as Uriel Antuna and Diego Polenta, as well as bringing in Julian Araujo to the first team. The Galaxy made the playoffs in 2019, advanced to the postseason for the first time since 2016, and reached the quarterfinals behind star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
That summer, Galaxy signed Christian Pavon, after which the club was sanctioned for misreporting Pavon’s signing. As part of the sanctions, Klein was suspended until the end of the first transfer window (April 24) and was eventually fired in May.
As time went on, Te Klose felt his authority over sporting decisions waning.
“At some point, I felt that my influence and influence were not what I thought they were,” said Te Krose. “I had long conversations with the owner and Chris Klein, and they were always friendly. I honestly appreciate working there, but I needed to make a definite impact.”
“I think the general manager had certain powers,” Te Krose added. “Last season when I worked there, it wasn’t so clear.In the end there are a lot of gray areas like who is responsible for whom, who brings what players, what style of play. It wasn’t clear enough.”
The Galaxy took a step back in a pandemic-shortened 2020 season after Ibrahimovic’s move to AC Milan and Mexico’s all-time top scorer Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández’s dominating debut season. Sherrott was sacked with just a few games remaining in the season as the Galaxy finished 10th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs again.
With Klein as president and Jovan Kirovski as technical director, Galaxy’s front office had multiple decision makers. When the Galaxy hired Greg Vanny as head coach ahead of the 2021 season, the club had another influence over team decisions. At that point, Te Klose decided he had to leave.
“They went their separate ways and I thought there was no place for me,” Te Krose said. “I wasn’t used to working that way, so I didn’t have any real influence or decision-making on sporting decisions, but it showed that I was more than capable of handling it. I think.”
The Galaxy are back in the playoffs in 2022 after having their best season since 2019. Te Krose was aiming for the title in Holland.
“Over the last few months with Galaxy, I have thought a lot about how the organization operates and who has the power. We cannot be held responsible for this,” said Klose. “They chose a different model. Everyone can judge for themselves how it turned out.”
(Photo: NESimages/Geert van Erven/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)