This season, Ajax played 30 of its 34 matches in the Eredivisie in an empty stadium. Despite this they still went on to win both the Dutch Cup and the Eredivisie title. But in the ultimate gesture of solidarity the club has decided to melt down its champion trophy and create over 42,000 small champion stars, one for every season ticket holder.

Despite it being a welcome relief for us all during what has been a tough year, football just hasn’t been the same this season. The echos reverberating around empty stadiums highlighting the essential ingredient that’s been missing from the game: the fans. No one to cheer the highs and groan at the lows; to drive their team on and to heckle the opposition. Home advantage has dwindled, and the tempo has dropped. And the clubs and players have missed the fans as much as the fans have missed the stadiums. In recognition of this, Ajax have made the move to melt down its champion trophy and create over 42,000 small champion stars.

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From Wednesday onwards, each season ticket holder will receive their share of the champion trophy, or, as Ajax calls it: ‘a piece of Ajax’. This will allow the club to physically share the championship and the 35th trophy with fans. All season ticket holders will receive a star weighing 3.45g, 0.06g of which has come from the trophy.

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General Director Edwin van der Sar explained: "This season, we have largely had to play without our fans. Well, without them sitting in the stands, at least. Despite this, we have felt their support every week. On the way to the stadium, on social media and in our personal contacts.”

"Previously, when we said ‘this title is for you’, we were expressing how we were doing it for the fans however sharing the trophy is the ultimate proof that we really are.’ After a turbulent year, we are ensuring our fans feel part of our championship.

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Ajax captain Dusan Tadic added: "Playing in an empty stadium doesn’t compare with an atmospheric Johan Cruijff Arena. We have really missed our supporters over the past season here in Amsterdam and during all our matches. We therefore want to dedicate this title to our fans and can’t wait to play in front of them again."

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Don't feel bad for the Ajax trophy cabinet though; since it's been an extraordinary football year, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) has given Ajax a second trophy as an exception. Everyone's happy.