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to get out of the crisis, it will be necessary to go through the fund

There was a time, not so long ago, when the epicenter of Belgian football was shared between Brussels and Liège. Sporting d’Anderlecht, led by the family Vanden Stock, piled up the Belgian championship titles while an irreverent Standard challenged him for this hegemony. In 2022, the national hierarchy is largely turned upside down. FC Bruges has become the boss of Belgian football, just titillated by Genk (2019 champion), La Gantoise (2015) or by the people of Brussels, crowned for the last time in 2017. But Standard and Anderlecht have started their reconstruction process . After each having hit rock bottom financially, these two powerhouses of Belgian football are dreaming of better days. Autopsy of attack plans to join the paths of glory.

Anderlecht no longer counts its cents, Standard has a vital need for fresh money

Anderlecht went through a long lean period. The takeover of the club by Marc Coucke in 2017 revealed its share of irregularities in purple finances. The transition from Wouter Vandenhaute at the head of the Anderlecht boat, accompanied by a large recapitalization on the part of the shareholders, ended up convincing the skeptics: Anderlecht finds a rising curve. For years, however, the people of Brussels groped on the transfer market, constrained by a difficult financial context. Some players had to be sold off (Saelemaekers, 7.5 M€) while the club was trying to make moves with very random successes (Bruun Larsen, Your, chadlic, Diaby, Nasri, Pjaca). This season, the persuasiveness of Peter Verbeke has enabled the Mauves to make good picks, with a Sergio Gomez of which it is already certain that it will offer the treasury a great added value.

The Rouches coffers are bloodless. The Liège club made a historic loss of €19.7m last season. An alarming figure which explains the policy of outgoing transfers carried out by the management: “anything can go”. Vanheusden, Balikwisha, Dry were valued on the market at the first opportunity while other players with substantial salaries could follow. The creation of Immobilière could not stem the financial losses. In sporting terms, Alexandre Grosjean, who in the meantime lost the contest of Benjamin Nicaise, is forced to attempt risky loans (Peters, Raffia). And the club must now be very inventive on the market (Gilles Dewaele Where Mathieu Cafaro are the first recruits of the winter transfer window). In short, Standard is experiencing the same reality in 2022 as Sporting before its capital increase. Standard is obliged to seek players on whom we make bets. Players whose status is not fully inflated. Standard can no longer fetch players with a certain standing.” said Alex Teklak recently about the Rouches.

Anderlecht follows its guide, Standard may have found it

The latest Rouches transfers have been dictated by the new sports staff. Will Still rubbed shoulders with Cafaro near Reims. Luka Elsner knows Dewaele well for having taken him to Kortrijk, and it is rumored that other Franco-Slovenian lieutenants could land on the banks of the Meuse by the end of the winter window. The return of Renaud Emond, darling of the public, will perhaps make it possible to reconnect the group to “l’esprit Standard”, which has been missing so much since the start of the season. This second round must be the one where the claw of the Liège tandem must be felt. The current staff has recovered a locker room marked by the passage of Mbaye Leye and successive coaching changes (three in a season and a half). Even in a difficult sporting context, where the four small points ahead of the relegation zone do not encourage optimism, Elsner will have to find the resources to breathe new life into the Liège players. This trip to Anderlecht is an opportunity to mark a turning point in the season.

For his part, Vincent Kompany makes everyone agree. Yet wavering at the start of the exercise, given the non-qualification for the Conference League, the Brussels coach questioned himself and ended up finding the formula. The Kompany of 2022 has become pragmatic. He is very far from the idealist who wanted to reinterpret the precepts of Guardiola with sauce brusseleir. His introspection has also been salutary: best team of the month for December (16 out of 18), Anderlecht asserts itself for a place in the top 4 and is already applying for a Belgian Cup final (semi-final facing Eupen).

The red supporters are heard, the mauves have found faith

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At Standard, anger is brewing. The resignation ofAlexandre Grosjean is loud and clear, Venanzi’s departure is big on the walls around Sclessin and fans are pessimistic about the club’s future, which they consider adrift. The explosion during the Walloon clash against Charleroi highlighted the widespread climate of mistrust. The rupture of trust between supporters and management is total and the resumption of dialogue will only go through a revolution, whether sporting or extra-sporting.

On the Anderlecht side, the bottom of the bottom was hit in April 2019, when supporters had stopped the clash disputed … at Standard by throwing smoke bombs on the Liège lawn. Anderlecht supporters had to get used to no longer popping champagne every year in May. The arrival of Vincent Kompany took time to bear fruit, but the supporters can once again dream of a title. Since the unworthy defeat at Standard which had earned a defeat on green carpet (5-0), the Mauves can count on a record of 4 wins and 2 draws against their Liège counterpart. When rock bottom has been hit, there is no choice but to bounce back.

Recent results argue for Anderlecht, but…

If the recent results lean in favor of Parc Astrid, each match should be taken out of the context that surrounds it. Robert Martinez also has a good formula for predicting a clash between two rivals. “It is often the team that has the most need of a victory that ends up winning“. In this game, the registration number 16 needs a success much more than its Brussels counterpart. To restore honor, and above all to get out of this bottom of the ranking, unworthy of its rank. But the Anderlechtois will not deprive themselves not to smash their eternal rival if the opportunity arises.

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