January 15 – Belgium’s RSC Anderlecht have reshuffled their boardroom in a bid to halt the club’s dramatic, recent slide. Earlier this season, the appointment of Vincent Kompany as player-coach backfired.
Karel Van Eetvelt is the club’s incoming CEO. He previously headed Unizo, the organization uniting Belgium’s self-employed, and was a director at Febelfin, an association for Belgium’s financial sector with a broad lobbying mandate.
Local entrepreneur Wouter Vandenhaute has been appointed as an advisor to the club’s board. Vandenhaute lost out on his bid to acquire Anderlecht against current owner Marc Coucke. Patrick Lefevere, manager of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step cycling team, and Philippe Close, mayor of Brussels, have also joined the club.
Some of the appointments have been controversial. Vandenhaute runs sports management company Let’s Play and Close’s role as mayor could as well could point to potential conflicts of interest.
Owner Coucke needs the new arrivals to steady the ship at Anderlecht. The club reported a €27 million loss last season and is burdened by debts of about €100 million.
Last summer the embattled Coucke, sporting director Michael Verschueren and then technical director Frank Arnesen landed a major coup by signing Kompany as player-coach, but Kompany failed to impose his vision borrowed from his long-time coach Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Experienced coach Frank Vercauteren came on board to bring some stability at Anderlecht.
At present, the Brussels-based club and most decorated team in Belgium sits in ninth place in the league, six points off the play-off spots. On Sunday, Anderlecht welcome league leaders Club Brugge, needing a result to not slip further down the table and face a second consecutive season without European football.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1582853362labto1582853362ofdlr1582853362owedi1582853362sni@o1582853362fni1582853362