Anderlecht reshuffle as Van Eetvelt quits debt-challenged club

Anderlecht

January 7 – Karel Van Eetvelt will leave Anderlecht as CEO on April 1 in a new boardroom shuffle at the heavily indebted Brussels-based club. 

At the start of 2020, Van Eetvelt became the Brussels-based outfit’s CEO in January in a bid to halt the dramatic slide of the club. Anderlecht reported a €27 million loss at the time and was burdened by debts of about €100 million.

“Together with a fantastic team of employees, I have worked hard over the past year to get the club of my heart my back on track,” said Van Eetvelt. “We are happy with where we are today, but the road is still long.”

Van Eetvelt had previously headed Unizo, the organisation uniting Belgium’s self-employed, and was a director at Febelfin, an association for Belgium’s financial sector with a broad lobbying mandate, but his influence began to wane at Anderlecht in May when Wouter Vandenhaute stepped in as new chairman with owner Marck Coucke taking a backseat. Vandenhaute’s chairmanship still requires shareholder approval.

The boardroom restructuring was dressed up as a new start, but reflected the malaise and sense of disorientation at the club and on Wednesday Van Eetvelt offered his resignation at a board of directors meeting. His mandate will end on April 1. He is set to be succeeded by Jos Donvil, the current COO whose background is in telecoms.

The next CEO will again have little time to blend in with Anderlecht requiring structural change. In the 2019-20 season, the club recorded a loss of €36 million. In the summer, Anderlecht sold Jeremy Doku for €27 million to Ligue 1 club Rennes, but that won’t be enough to solve the financial woes in the long run.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1610873122labto1610873122ofdlr1610873122owedi1610873122sni@o1610873122fni1610873122