- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch football association’s licensing commission has proposed relegating FC Twente to the second-tier Jupiler League to punish the 2010 Eredivisie champion for “repeatedly and deliberately misleading” football authorities and other clubs about its finances.

The licensing commission had the power to revoke Twente’s professional playing license altogether, but said Wednesday it wants to give the Enschede club a second chance because of recent efforts to restore order.

Twente interim director Onno Jacobs said the club’s management was “shocked, disappointed and full of disbelief” and would carefully study the written decision before deciding on the next step.

“This feels … like a hammer blow,” Jacobs said, while appealing to the club and its fans to remain calm.

Last year, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) banned Twente from European competition for three years for a deal to sell player transfer fee rights to an outside investor. The club also has repeatedly had league points deducted because of financial mismanagement.

“We feared the licensing commission would pull the plug completely,” said KNVB director Bert van Oostveen. “Luckily the commission has found a way out. FC Twente is a big club with a lot of supporters and the KNVB is pleased the club has been given a second chance.”

A Dutch professional players’ council has two weeks to consider the proposal and issue a non-binding opinion before the decision is finalized. Twente, which finished 13th in the Eredivisie last season, can appeal.

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