In 1972, Witkamp proposed the idea to Jaap van Praag, the then president of Ajax, who were holders of the European Cup at that time. The idea was then taken to UEFA to seek official endorsement; however Artemio Franchi, the president of UEFA at that time, rejected the idea as the reigning European Cup Winners' Cup champions—Rangers—were serving a one-year ban at the time imposed by UEFA for the alleged misbehaviour of their fans.
The match went ahead, but unofficially as a celebration of the Centenary of Rangers F.C.. The first leg was played on 16 January 1973 and the second on 24 January 1973. Ajax won the tie 6–3 on aggregate, beating Rangers both at home and away, 3–1 in Glasgow and 3–2 in the second leg in Amsterdam. Despite not being officially recognised by UEFA it is often regarded as the first ever European Super Cup match.