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New KNVB President Just Spee takes office

KNVB Media
KNVB Media
17 December 2019, 8:00

The incoming and outgoing KNVB presidents shake hands. Just Spee on the left, Michael van Praag on the right - Foto: KNVB Media

Just Spee has taken over from Michael van Praag as President of the Royal Netherlands Football Federation (KNVB). Spee was appointed at a KNVB Assembly meeting earlier this year. Michael van Praag resigned after serving his maximum term.

"It won't be easy to follow in Michael's footsteps and match his successes," the new KNVB President told the KNVB Assembly in May. Spee described himself as someone who seeks to connect people, someone who takes a broad view of the world of football. In that sense, he’ll continue the work of his predecessor in the same style.

Solid reputation

The new president is aware that it will take some time to reach the same stature as Van Praag, who became a figurehead, not only of the KNVB, but of Dutch football in general, both at home and internationally. Van Praag is a highly valued member of the Executive Committee of UEFA, known around the world as a champion of clean, fair and attractive football.

Representing the KNVB and his country at international fora will also be one of Spee’s core tasks. Both at home and abroad, he will take the KNVB strategic plan as his guideline,” as he told the association in May.

“That plan has been prepared by you, so that’s what the Dutch footballer wants. I am also the federal president of all football players in Netherlands. I will therefore look for what binds us and what brings us forward and promote this in an appropriate manner. The KNVB and Dutch football are on the right track, but we cannot sit back. We must move forward and perhaps I can contribute to that."

Career in marketing and media

Serving as a member of the Supervisory Board of Eredivisie Media & Marketing, Just Spee was involved in the exploitation of the commercial rights of the Eredivisie clubs. He has international experience and, due to his work as the CEO of two media companies, Endemol and Stage Entertainment, he has built up a large network in the world of media and entertainment.

Spee played football at the Royal HFC in Haarlem where he also served as administrator. Following an extensive recruitment and selection procedure, he emerged as the most suitable candidate out of 70 applicants, according to a selection committee set up by the KNVB Board. Spee received the support of the assocation’s Assembly, its highest organ. He is widely seen as having the best qualifications to represent the KNVB both at home and abroad.

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