The Netherlands-based football fan has gone from being a local hero to being the subject of several death threats within a matter of days
Feyenoord fan Peter van Seventer has cried out that his life is in danger following his failed attempt to crowd-fund the transfer fee needed for his darling club to permanently acquire the services of Nigeria striker Cyriel Dessers from KRC Genk.
Like many Feyenoord fans inside and outside the Netherlands, van Seventer has watched with his mouth wide open in sweet surprise as Dessers grew from being an unheralded deadline day loan signing to being a second-choice striker to being the most prolific goalscorer in the Europa Conference League.
Still, it was clear that Feyenoord’s limited finances would prevent them from coughing out the four million euros needed to permanently acquire Dessers, the club’s highest ever goalscorer in European competitions in a season.
But Van Seventer just could not come to terms with watching his club’s new hero depart De Kuip without as much an effort.
And the day after Dessers scored twice to condemn Marseille to a 3-2 defeat and brighten Feyenoord’s chances of making the Conference League final, Van Seventer was inspired to initiate a crowd-funding campaign to support the Rotterdammers’ acquisition move for Dessers.
However, what started as a playful joke quickly gained traction as thousands of fans sent in donations, with over €50,000 received in only three days.
But things took a different, bizarre turn after the world football-governing body, FIFA, made it clear that it was illegal for supporters to crowd-fund a player’s transfer fee.
And Van Seventer decided to donate the money to the charities Support Casper and the Sophia Children’s Hospital. That was when the death threats started pouring in.
“Since Monday morning, I suddenly get death threats and threatening phone calls,” Van Seventer lamented, as per PZC.
“You know, I’m just a simple guy from The Hague who wanted to do something fun. I don’t get it.”
The threats have not stopped still, with Van Seventer needing police protection.
The Feyenoord supporter has had to change his tact and has decided to transfer all the money to the FSV De Feijenoorder supporters’ association so that all the funds somehow end up with the club.
Van Seventer still cannot fathom why some fans would direct hateful messages at him when all he had in mind was the good of everyone associated with Feyenoord.
“Then you’re just not good in your pan, are you? I started this for fun, not because I want to go on vacation to Curaçao or anything,” he added.
“What I’ve heard the last few days is pure nonsense. If you are going to threaten the creator of such an initiative, then you are simply not worthy of the Feyenoord club. Then please go and support another team.”
It is increasingly likely that Dessers will be playing his football away from De Kuip next season, despite businessman Dennis de Roo offering to help Feyenoord with a significant part of the transfer fee.
Van Seventer remains hopeful, though, that Feyenoord and Dennis de Roo – with his crowd-funded money playing a part – can come up with a suitable solution to the complicated transfer situation.
“And then I hope that he (Dennis de Roo) can also use the amount of the crowdfunding in one way or another.
“We really need to get Dessers in; we love that boy. It would be nice if the club now also listens to the supporters.”
Dessers can further strengthen the bond between him and Feyenoord’s supporters when the Rotterdammers face Olympique Marseille in the second leg of their Conference League semifinal showdown on Thursday.