Antwerp fire Bico in search for calmer waters and return to former glory

Royal Antwerp FC

By Samindra Kunti

November 18 – Belgium’s oldest club Antwerp has dismissed sporting director John Bico after just one turbulent month as the club’s sporting director.

Last season Bico, the former agent of Frank Ribery, won promotion to the top flight with club WS Brussels, but the Belgian FA refused to grant WS Brussels a license and instead KAS Eupen was promoted to the Jupiler Pro League.

A month ago, Antwerp unveiled Bico as their new sporting director and David Geveart as coach. They were drafted in to replace Fred Vanderbiest. But Antwerp fans were dismayed by the arrival of Bico, with numerous incidents overshadowing his tenure.

Geveart was the first to go after a couple of weeks, but the situation remained controversial as Bico insisted on maintaining his role at WS Brussels. Earlier this week Antwerp decided to finally part ways with Bico. The club also fired Sadio Demba en Jeffrey Rentmeister, who had just arrived a week ago to coach the team.

After 15 match days Antwerp are third in the Proximus League, the second tier of Belgian football. They drew scoreless against red lantern Cercle Brugge at the weekend. Stijn Vreven, the former coach of Beveren, is widely touted to become Antwerp’s new coach.

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