Belgian FA in turmoil as Van Den Bulck loses board confidence and quits

May 19 – After less than a year in his position, Paul Van Den Bulck (pictured) has resigned as the president of the Belgian FA (RBFA) due to tensions with the board of directors. He had ousted long serving Peter Bossaert as CEO two months previously.

Van Den Bulck took over as the head of Belgian football in June 2022, succeeding Mehdi Bayat. However, on Thursday, he announced his resignation, stating that he could no longer effectively carry out his duties as chairman given the current circumstances. He expressed hope that stepping aside would allow the Board of Directors to continue their work.

In a six-page letter, the directors raised concerns about Van Den Bulck’s approach to governance and highlighted a significant crisis of confidence within the organisation.

The letter stated: “Following Operation Clean Hands (the police probe into match-fixing and corruption in Belgian football), the decision was made to establish a non-executive board of directors and professional executive management. Today, we believe that this principle is being undermined.”

The directors also expressed their dissatisfaction with Van Den Bulck’s tendency to involve an external law firm in internal matters of the FA. They criticised the lack of transparency and stated that such actions were in violation of good governance practices.

Van Den Bulck’s departure is the latest crisis to hit the RBFA. Just two months ago, he had forced CEO Bossaert out following a dispute over bonus structures that were modified without the approval of the federation’s board.

Under Bossaert’s new contract, the bonus was no longer tied to commercial benchmarks but rather to specific requirements such as convening the board of directors six times a year, delivering a report on good governance by a third party, and generating a revenue of €15 million through UEFA income and sponsorships. These conditions were considered easily achievable.

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