A Dutch Soccer Player Renegotiated His Contract to Include a Free Beer for Fans

Bram van Polen is treating team volunteers and season ticket holders to a drink on the house for his last season with PEC Zwolle.

Bram van Polen

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Last year, when Dutch soccer player Bram van Polen was renegotiating his contract with his longtime team, PEC Zwolle, he decided to ask for something a little unusual. After over a decade with the club, van Polen thought it might be a good time to ask for a used Peugeot for his wife to drive. "It is not very spectacular, but she wanted it and we are not normally into the superfluous luxury, but thought: let's do it," he joked at the time.

Van Polen recently decided to return to the Blauwvingers ("Bluefingers") for his 17th season, and this time, he wanted his contract to include something for the club's dedicated fans. At the team’s home match on Friday, every season ticket holder, sponsor, and volunteer will get a free beer (or non-alcoholic drink), courtesy of the veteran defender.

"I can tell a whole story why I extended my contract, but everyone knows that PEC Zwolle is the most beautiful club of all for me," he told the PEC Zwolle website. "[A]s many know, I try to have something fun put into my contract every year. This year I want to thank the supporters of PEC Zwolle for their unconditional support that I have always felt, in good times but also in bad times. With a special coin, which every season ticket holder, sponsor and volunteer receives, I want to give a round to the entire stadium on Friday."

In a handwritten letter that was sent to ticket holders — along with that crucial drink coin — Van Polen wrote "if you had not had so much love for the club, I would not have played for PEC Zwolle for so long."

Van Polen told ESPN that he'd been thinking about this kind of gesture for a while "I'm assuming that this year will be my last year as a professional football player and [...] I wanted to give something back to the supporters," he said. "It isn't to win favor at all [...] I don't think I still have to win people over in Zwolle. So, I sincerely saw it as a 'thank you.' And I thought a round on the house suited me."

In addition to buying everyone a beer and scoring that new-to-her car for his wife, Van Polen’s previous contracts have also asked for the club to send him on a family vacation and for a gourmet meal from a restaurant in Zwolle. But according to ESPN, the 37-year-old isn’t exactly demanding: his family trip was at a Dutch campground and his upscale dinner was at a local hotel.

Van Polen has been with PEC Zwolle since 2007, and he's the Blauwvingers' team captain. If he wasn't already a legend at MAC³PARK Stadion, buying everybody’s first drink on Friday probably would've done the trick.

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