|Netherlands Cup||01/19 19:00||4||NAC vs PEC Zwolle||-||View|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||01/22 15:30||23||FC Emmen vs NAC||-||View|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||02/04 19:00||25||NAC vs Roda JC||-||View|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||02/07 19:00||24||AZ Reserves vs NAC||-||View|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||02/13 11:15||26||NAC vs FC Den Bosch||-||View|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||02/18 19:00||27||Telstar vs NAC||-||View|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||01/14 19:00||22|| NAC v FC Volendam ||D||0-0|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||01/08 20:00||21|| NAC v FC Eindhoven ||D||0-0|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||12/17 19:00||20|| ADO Den Haag v NAC ||L||4-1|
|Netherlands Cup||12/14 20:00||5||NAC v FC Utrecht||W||3-2|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||12/10 19:00||19|| NAC v Almere City FC ||D||1-1|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||12/03 19:00||18|| FC Den Bosch v NAC ||W||0-5|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||11/27 15:30||17|| NAC v Helmond Sport ||W||1-0|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||11/22 19:00||15|| PSV Reserves v NAC ||D||0-0|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||11/19 19:00||16|| NAC v FC Utrecht Reserves ||D||1-1|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||11/05 19:00||14|| FC Dordrecht v NAC ||L||2-1|
|Netherlands Eerste Divisie||10/30 18:00||13|| Top Oss v NAC ||W||1-3|
|Netherlands Cup||10/26 19:00||7||NAC v VVV||W||5-3|
|Failed to score||8||3||5|
NAC Breda (Dutch pronunciation: [nɑɡ breːˈdaː]), often simply known as NAC, is a Dutch professional football club, based in Breda, Netherlands. NAC Breda play in the Rat Verlegh Stadium, named after their most important player, Antoon 'Rat' Verlegh. They play in the Eerste Divisie. In their history, NAC won one national title in 1921 and won one Cup in 1973.
NAC was founded on 19 September 1912, when the two clubs ADVENDO and NOAD merged to one club. NOAD is a Dutch abbreviation for Nooit Opgeven, Altijd Doorzetten (English translation: Never give up, always persevere), while ADVENDO is a Dutch abbreviation for Aangenaam Door Vermaak En Nuttig Door Ontspanning (English: Pleasant for its entertainment and useful for its relaxation), the C stands for Combinatie (combination). The full name of NAC Breda expands to Nooit opgeven altijd doorzetten, Aangenaam door vermaak en nuttig door ontspanning, Combinatie Breda [ˌnoːit ˈɔpxeːvə(n) ˌɑltɛiˈdoːrɣaːn ˈaːŋɣəˌnaːm doːr vərˈmaːk ɛˈnʏtəɣ doːr ɔntˈspɑnɪŋ kɔmbiˈnaː(t)si breːˈdaː]. Early in 2003 NAC added Breda to their club name as a symbol of gratitude after the City of Breda bought NAC's Rat Verleghstadium to help the club cope with financial problems. In 2012 Stefaan Eskes succeeded Ed Busselaar and in August 2012 NAC Breda reinstated their first logo as the new club logo for the 2012–13 season.
NAC Breda was founded on 20 September 1912 when the two clubs ADVENDO (Aangenaam Door Vermaak En Nuttig Door Ontspanning (English: Pleasant for its entertainment and useful for its relaxation)) and NOAD (Nooit Opgeven, Altijd Doorzetten (English: never give up, always persevere)) merged to one club. During the new club's foundation meeting the atmosphere became tense, since NOAD wanted to name the new club NOAD (NOad and ADvendo). This name was not acceptable to ADVENDO and eventually Frans Konert proposed to call the club NAC (NOAD ADVENDO Combinatie), which was accepted by the meeting's attendants. At first, the NVB refused to let NAC play association football, but on 28 October 1912 allowed NAC to play in the 2nd Southern Division.
The first years weren't that well for NAC, but when NAC moved to a new stadium ‘t Ploegske the results improved. NAC became one of the topteams in the highest Southern Division. In 1919 NAC became champion of this competition and was allowed to play the Dutch Champions’ Competition (a small competition in which the champions from the regional divisions would play for the Dutch title). During this competition NAC finished in the last place. In 1920, NAC was one of the first clubs to play international matches. NAC played a couple of friendly matches, including a match against Real Madrid CF. NAC won this match with 0–4 and the Spanish newspapers called NAC ‘Los muchacos del Breda, maestros del futbol’ (English: The boys from Breda, masters in football). In 1921, NAC celebrated one of its greatest achievements, when they became Dutch football champion. In the Dutch Championship competition, NAC defeated Ajax, Be Quick 1887 and Go Ahead. NAC continued to play soccer on a high level and in the twenties and thirties NAC was considered to be one of the best clubs in Dutch football. During this period NAC won 6 Southern Division titles and the football was deemed technically perfect by press and public.
Because of this view, the NAC board decided to hire a professional trainer. Englishman Ben Affleck was hired as a coach and was a couple of months later succeeded by James Moore. When Moore resigned, the NAC board issued a committee, who would select the best 11 NAC players to play a match. In 1931 Antoon Verlegh retired from football. Verlegh, nowadays a club icon for NAC, played for NAC since its foundation. In this year, NAC also had a dispute with the City of Breda. The stadium's terrain ‘t Ploegske was zoned as a residential area and NAC had to leave these grounds. Because no other option was available in Breda, NAC were forced to move to the town Princenhage. Within two months a complete new stadium, with a capacity of 5,500 people, was built and NAC left Breda. In 1935 NAC was also the first club in the Netherlands to travel by airplane to an away match against GVAV.
In 1939, NAC and the City of Breda reopened discussions whether NAC could return to Breda. The city's council zoned a large piece of land at the Beatrixstraat as stadium area and NAC returned to Breda in 1940. Because of the breakout of the Second World War, NAC decided to play an important social function in Breda's community. In order to divert the people's attention from war, NAC organized sport events, theatre, fairs and horsing games. Although NAC remained to play football, several players were employed by the Germans in Germany. During the Second World War, youngster Kees Rijvers made his debut for NAC.
After the Second World War, NAC played in the highest level. In 1949 Chairman of Honour C.J. Asselbergs died. Asselbergs was one of the people who were present at NAC since NAC got founded. In 1954 professional football was introduced in the Netherlands. The running competitions were postponed and new competitions were created. NAC entered the 1A League and became champions of this league in 1955. In the championship competition NAC finished second place, behind their rivals Willem II Tilburg.
On 14 March 1960 Breda was shocked to hear the death of Antoon ‘De Rat’ Verlegh. Verlegh, considered to be one of the important persons in Dutch football, died in a car accident on 12 March. From NAC's foundation in 1912, Verlegh was involved in the club at numerous positions and played an important role with the Royal Dutch Football Association. In November 1961 NAC lost another important person; Chairman Jacques Piederiet died. A year later, in August 1962, chairman Le Fevre died. The beginning of the sixties were not bright for NAC. In 1964–1965 NAC even relegated for the first time in its existence.
The relegation meant a total reconstruction of the club's management. The board resigned and NAC's intention was to return to the highest level within one year. NAC was successful in this and a season later NAC played in the highest level and a year later qualified for the KNVB Cup’s final, where it lost to AFC Ajax. Although NAC lost, the club was allowed to play UEFA Cup. In the UEFA Cup NAC reached the second round, after defeating Floriana FC. In the second round NAC was knocked out by Cardiff City. Although NAC remained in the highest football level in the Netherlands, NAC were in a heavy struggle not to relegate. 31 May 1973 is another highlight in NAC's history. In the KNVB Cup's final, NAC had to play NEC Nijmegen. NAC won the Cup Final, in front of 25,000 people from Breda, with 0–2. Because of this victory, NAC was allowed to play in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In the first round NAC was knocked out by later winners 1. FC Magdeburg.
In 1975 the NAC board decided to play the home matches on a Saturday evening. In this period a group of fanatic NAC fans merged and located themselves on a stand. Their fierce support lead to an attraction of youngsters, who also fanatically support NAC. This fierce support lasts till now and is known in the Netherlands as an Avondje NAC (English; An Evening NAC). An Avondje NAC is a flamboyant mix of Burgundian fun, beer, fanaticism and love for the club and ensures that during home matches the atmosphere in the stadium is intimidating. On 6 October 1979, a strange situation occurred. During the home match against NAC's rivals Feyenoord the linesman was hit by an ashtray. The referee postponed the match, riots broke out and the incident in the Netherlands is known as the ‘Ashtray Incident’.
In the eighties NAC relegated two times. After the second relegation, it appeared the financial situation of NAC was terrible. NAC was almost bankrupt and had to sell its belongings to survive. For years NAC struggled to survive, but at the end of the eighties NAC's situation improved and the club began to play in the top of the Eerste Divisie. On 7 June 1989, NAC player Andro Knel died in a plane accident. It was a shock to the club, especially since Knel was one of the popular players. Hundreds of fans of both NAC Breda and Sparta Rotterdam, Knel's former club, came together in memorial of Knel. A temporary Knel monument was revealed and the numbers of supporters visiting the monument proved his popularity. Due to the sad moments of Knel's death a special relationship between fans of NAC and Sparta was created.
After Knel's death, NAC had to continue to play in de Eerste Divisie and three times NAC was close to promote back to the Eredivisie. In 1992, NAC finally promoted to the Eredivisie. With a team managed by Ronald Spelbos and players like John Lammers, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Ton Lokhoff, Fabian Wilnis and John Karelse, NAC played their promotion match in Den Bosch against FC Den Bosch in front of 9,000 NAC fans. The promotion meant a revival of NAC's popularity, the stadium was sold out and NAC was supported by thousands of people in away matches. In the away match against their rivals Feyenoord in Rotterdam, NAC was supported by 8,000 people. Due to the popularity, the NAC board announced it would leave the stadium at the Beatrixstraat and it would build a new stadium. Until the movement, NAC continued to play in the highest level, missed qualification for the UEFA Cup several times and reached the semi-finals of the KNVB Cup.
In 1996 NAC moved to the new stadium, called the FUJIFILM Stadium. With this movement NAC indicated it wanted to play UEFA Cup every year. In 1998 NAC youngster Dominique Diroux died because of a heart attack during the match of the 2nd teams of NAC and AZ. NAC and the new players couldn't meet the high expectations for a couple of seasons and NAC even relegated in 1999. After this relegation, it appeared that NAC's financial situation was bad. In 4 seasons, NAC bought 60 players and the costs of the stadium exceeded the budget. In order to save the club, the stadium was bought from NAC by investors and Roelant Oltmans was appointed as the first professional manager at NAC. Also a fans’ council, the first in the Netherlands, was established, in which fans have an advisory role, that protects NAC's culture and defend the fans' interests. NAC also has one position available for a fan in the board of chairmen.
NAC professionalized and promoted in 2000 to the Eredivisie. In 2003 NAC qualified for the UEFA Cup, in which NAC played two matches against Newcastle United. An estimated 4,300 NAC fans travelled to Newcastle to support their team. In 2003 it appeared NAC was again nearing bankruptcy and the City of Breda purchased the stadium again from NAC on 30 January 2003. As a gratitude, NAC changed their name to NAC Breda. After this rescue, the management and the Board of Chairmen resigned and was succeeded by Theo Mommers as managing director and a new Board of Chairmen, led by Willem van der Hoeven. In 2006 NAC decided to rename the stadium to Rat Verlegh Stadion.
For a long time, NAC's financial position seemed stable and the club finished third in season 2007–2008. In 2009, NAC qualified for the UEFA Europa League. In the 4th round, NAC was defeated by Villarreal CF with 1–3 (home) and 6–1 (away). Despite earlier denials towards fans and stakeholders by management and the Board of Chairmen, it appeared at the end of season 2009–2010 that NAC's financial position was not stable. The club lost €3.2 million that season, due to rebuilding the stadium and buying too expensive players. Board members Willem van der Hoeven, Jacques Visschers and Bas Koomans resigned and Bas van Bavel became new chairman. Managing director Theo Mommers reported ill in April 2010. Bernard Ouwerkerk was appointed in June 2010 as interim managing director of NAC Breda, while Technical Manager Earnest Stewart signed a contract at AZ and was replaced by Jeffrey van As. During this period, NAC manager Maaskant raised his concerns several times via the press. Because of the financial problems, NAC had to cut budget and Maaskant was not able to buy new players. On 21 August 2010, NAC and Maaskant made public that the trainer would leave NAC Breda for Polish football club Wisła Kraków, where Maaskant signed a two-year deal. His assistant managers John Karelse, Gert Aandewiel and Arno van Zwam became the interim managers for NAC Breda. In January 2011 Bernard Ouwerkerk resigned and was succeeded by Ed Busselaar. In March 2011 it appeared that NAC had a debt of €7.1 million.
After a few seasons struggling to stay out of the relegation places, they were unable to avoid relegation after the 2014/15 season when they were beaten by Roda JC in a promotion/relegation playoff final. They had enjoyed 15 successive seasons in the top tier.
On 28 May 2017, NAC returned to the Eredivisie after winning the promotion/relegation play-off final against NEC Nijmegen (1–0 and 1–4). Cyriel Dessers scored four goals in those two matches. The other goal was made by Giovanni Korte. After the match there were festivities in Breda. First there was a party next to the stadium. A day later the party continued at the "Grote Markt". On 12 May 2019, in a defeat to SC Heerenveen they relegated to the Keuken Kampioen Divisie.