Belgian Football News – 12/03/13: Trouble in Antwerpen as Beerschot’s problems mount

Beerschot ask for protection from creditors (Sporza)

As if things were not bad enough on the field for Beerschot, they have taken a considerable turn for the worse off it. The club have gone to court to ask for a special judicial arrangement to be put in place, which would allow them protection from their creditors for six months. The appointed judge now has ten days to decide whether the application is both well-grounded and admissible. Should the club be successful, they will have to come to an agreement during the six month period on restructuring of the debt in order to find an arrangement more in tune with their ability to pay.

Beerschot’s financial problems in recent years have been no secret with debts reputed to be around €17m. Current owner Patrick Vanoppen took full control of the club back in February 2011 and has always somewhat unconvincingly insisted that the club were financially sound.  The move comes after the club hit out at the local authorities in Antwerpen, one of Belgium’s biggest cities, for not doing enough to support football in the area.

De Witte steps back from “champions within five years” statement (Het Nieuwsblad)

KAA Gent chairman Ivan De Witte told a gathering of (potential) club sponsors that their aim was to become champions within five years of moving to the new Arteveldestadion. De Witte, who used to chair the Pro League as well, stepped back from his comments, saying they were intended for a specific audience. The comments come in the midst of Gent’s worst season for quite some time but the club are nonetheless optimistic that this summer’s move away from the Ottenstadion will enable them to compete more seriously with the likes of Anderlecht and Standard.

De Witte may well be opening himself and his club up to some ridicule here but for me he should be applauded for his ambition. Gent have made huge strides on and off the field in recent years, the current campaign notwithstanding, and have one of the biggest catchment areas in the country. Before targeting the title though, they need to ensure not only regular European football but they must be competitive in Europe and be able to attract more fans through the turnstiles. You can keep up with the building of the new stadium here:

Rednic: Standard are yet to offer me a new deal (RTBF)

The likeable Mircea Rednic revealed on La Tribune last night that he is yet to receive a new deal at Standard Liège. The Romanian, who also admitted that he has Belgian citizenship, has overseen a turnaround in fortunes since replacing Ron Jans.

“(Duchâtelet) still has time. He has his plans. I am not putting pressure on him to sign me up. I dreamt of becoming Standard coach for seven years. When they first asked me to become coach, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. I said to myself that it was the first and perhaps the last (time).

Anderlecht step up interest in Utrecht’s Anouar Kali (La Dernière Heure)

Anderlecht coach John van den Brom attended Utrecht’s 1-0 win over RKC on Sunday in order to run the rule over the home side’s attacking midfielder Anouar Kali. The 21-year old is out of contract at the end of the season and is keen on a move to Brussels. Meanwhile former Anderlecht winger Jonathan Legear is heading for the exit at Terek Grozny, who expect to take a hit on the €4.5m they paid for him two years ago. A move to England is believed to be the most likely outcome for the injury prone, chaotic driver.

Tchité still hopes to play for Belgium (RTBF)

Club Brugge striker Meme Tchité has reiterated his desire to represent Belgium at international level despite the Belgian FA’s reluctance to finalise the matter after FIFA had given them the green light. Speaking on RTBF’s La Tribune, he stated it was the main reason he left Standard for Blauw-Zwart and went on to argue,

“I have done everything I could have, I have made sacrifices and I don’t regret my decision. Everything is in place, it just needs one last push from the Belgian FA. I don’t think there are enough strikers in Belgium. I’m not asking to be picked but I’m asking to be eligible for selection. And afterwards, they will either pick me or not depending on how I perform on the field.”

De fauw denies Zulte Waregem are under pressure (Sporza)

Zulte Waregem captain Davy De fauw was a special guest on VRT’s flagship football show Extra Time last night. The club have been the surprise package in Belgium this season as they challenge Anderlecht for the title having begun the season looking to stave off relegation. In spite of Saturday’s defeat to Club Brugge, De fauw does not believe that Essevee are cracking under the strain of expectation:

“The win at Standard showed that maybe something was possible this season. And now we are second but there’s no question of pressure. Our squad is very grown-up considering its (average) age. We have a good mix of young and old and we’re keeping calm. The pressure is always on the top teams who have a budget three times the size of ours. I don’t think we are the ones under pressure.”

Mons reopen their T3 ahead of Genk clash (Sporza)

Mons have eased worries that they may not be awarded a licence to play top flight football by reopening one of the stands behind the goal. The T3, the smallest stand at the Stade Charles Tondreau, had been closed for safety reasons. The local authorities have carried out the necessary work and checks enabling it to be reopened meaning that Mons now meet the minimum capacity requirements of the Pro League (8000). Enzo Scifo’s side have the smallest budget in the Pro League but are on course to finish seventh.

Jelle van Damme’s hearing put back (La Dernière Heure)

And finally, due to the snow falling across Belgium, Jelle van Damme’s disciplinary hearing has been postponed until Thursday. The Standard captain was sent off against OH Leuven for a rash challenge on Thomas Azevedo and has decided not to accept the proposed three game ban.

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