The 2003/2004 season was the 42nd season of the Rotterdam professional football club SBV Excelsior since the introduction of professional football in 1954. The club had been relegated from the Eredivisie the previous season.
Head coach was Henk van Stee, who was working on his first season in Kralingen. He succeeded Adrie Koster. Under the leadership of Van Stee, Excelsior finished in second place in the final ranking, just behind FC Den Bosch, which promoted directly to the Eredivisie on the basis of a better goal difference (+37 against +31).
Excelsior was sentenced to the post-competition and lost it to De Graafschap and Heracles Almelo. The team finished third in group B. FC Volendam finished last and were relegated from the Eredivisie.
In the cup tournament, Excelsior lost to fellow townsman Sparta Rotterdam (0-2) in the third round, after having settled FC Vinkenslag (0-5) and VVV-Venlo (2-0) in the first two rounds. Top scorer became striker Mounir El Hamdaoui with 17 hits in 33 league matches.
Van Stee had his hands full with El Hamdaoui, who at the time was known to Excelsior as a growth brilliant and enfant terrible. Van Stee put him back to the promises twice. "Both clashed three times this season, for the first time directly in the preparation," said the football weekly Voetbal International. "At the beginning of October, the situation escalated again and El Hamdaoui had to train with the second team for a week. More than two weeks ago, Van Stee returned his top scorer to the promises. He criticized the attitude of the striker, which would not suit a professional football player, and called him a disturbing factor. "