Flemish business mogul Marc Coucke new owner of RSC Anderlecht

Summary

Belgium’s top football club has been sold to Marc Coucke, the East Flanders entrepreneur who owns KV Oostende

‘In good hands’

The well-known Flemish business mogul Marc Coucke has been chosen by the board of RSC Anderlecht as the team’s new owner. In all the talk about the new owner over the last week, Coucke’s name ultimately emerged as a surprise.

Sports commentators had assumed that the competition to take over Belgium’s strongest football club was between media giant Wouter Vandenhaute and Paul Gheysens of construction and development firm Ghelamco, which built Ghent’s stadium. Coucke (pictured), who already owns KV Oostende, was a surprise bidder for Anderlecht.

The board announced that they hoped to complete negotiations for the handover by the end of the year. Coucke, the founder of Omega Pharma and with shares in a number of other concerns, will own 70% of Anderlecht shares.

Current owner and board chair Roger Vanden Stock inherited the club from his father, who bought it in 1971. “Just like my father, I was ready to pass the torch, and I wanted to be sure that Anderlecht was in good hands,” said Vanden Stock. “This means in the hands of people who love the club and that, above all, have a long-term vision and can provide stability.”

Flemish football

Reaping the benefits of their improved youth academies, Flemish football clubs have become reasonably successful in European competitions in recent years and many players routinely join leading European clubs.
Players - Famous players from Brussels and Flanders include Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Thomas Vermaelen.
Clubs - Some of the best-known local clubs include KV Mechelen, Zulte Waregem, AA Ghent and Club Brugge.
Anderlecht - The Brussels-based RSC Anderlecht is the only Belgian club in the 2013-2014 Uefa Champions League.
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football first appears in Flanders

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Flemish clubs in top national division

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million euros in subsidies from the Flemish government to renovate football stadiums in 2013