Belgians keep option of retaining an 18-team top tier open

December 15 – Belgian football has postponed a decision to temporarily maintain an 18-team league format until January following a general assembly of the Pro League. 

In the 2022/23 season, the Belgian top flight was due to return to its standard 16-team league format, with three clubs facing the drop next season, but with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic a proposal has been launched to maintain the expanded league format for another season.

“We need a little more time for reflection and consultation,” said Pro League CEO Pierre François.

In August, Belgian football settled on a 18-team league format for the next two seasons in the top flight after a court ruling, confirming Waasland-Beveren couldn’t be relegated, forced a u-turn from the Pro League. As a result, both OH Leuven, owned by King Power, and Beerschot, with a Saudi majority owner, were promoted to the top tier.

The Pro League also failed to reach an agreement about the integration of reserve teams in the second division and amateur leagues. “We are quite far in our discussion,” said François. “But there is still a lack of clarity about the amateur league. If it cannot restart in February, we will probably have a blank season. And then there will be no places available for reserve teams.”

At the moment, Club Brugge is the only club which is represented in the second division through a reserve team. ‘Club NXT’ however are bottom of the table with seven point from 14 matches, having won just a single match.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti at moc.l1659930616labto1659930616ofdlr1659930616owedi1659930616sni@o1659930616fni1659930616