One of Stef’s great insights

During the first decade of the 21st century, all eyes were on synthetic turf. Reinforced grass was doomed to disappear… Desso at that time was one of the leading synthetic turf suppliers.

In 2007, Desso’s new CEO, Stef Kranendijk, wanted to talk to me. He noticed, he said, that i was practicaly the only one left in the company, that still worked with hybrid grass. He wanted to know why and more than that he wanted to find out why the others didn’t do anything with this system.

We talked for a whole afternoon and the outcome of that meeting was as simple as briliant… he wanted to revive the system as we were the only ones to have it, we actually invented it! we were still running a patent on it and, he believed -as well as i did- that synthetic turf would never become the standard for professional football & rugby.

During the FSB show in Cologne of 2007, Stef anounced that my colleague Ralf Oechies and myself would start working on a revival plan for hybrid grass. 2 of my colleague Sales Directors came to me and offered me their sincere condolances… i replied they probably made a mistake as they surely wanted to congratulate me? I was wrong they said, the system was not worthy of being re-introduced in the market. It was way too expensive, impossible to maintain and… synthetic turf was conquering the world…

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