Duchâtelet sells Standard Liege


At a press conference on Wednesday, Roland Duchâtelet announced that he had sold Standard Liege to the current Vice-President of the club - Bruno Venanzi - for an undisclosed amount.

He commented:

"I've been in the habit of counting my life expectancy. The average is seventy five years. That's my target. So I have 350 weeks left in good health. Quality of life and personal happiness are the most important things in my life".

He recognised that he had had some difficult times with Standard fans. "I have felt it was complicated for me at Standard. For the Standard fans too - those who didn't see in me the leader they wanted".

"I've found the ideal solution for the club with someone I have complete faith in. I love the club. I am leaving it, but I am sure that I leave it in the hands of someone with the vision to direct the club".

He warned his successor: "Running a club is more difficult than running a business or political party. I wish Bruno Venanzi well".

He denied that St.Truiden's promotion played a part in his decision: "I have no foot in STTV. I'm staying in football, but not Belgian football".

He was cagey about the 20 million euros withdrawn from the club in 2013: "Standard has generated profits for some years. The way the club is run is the prerogative of the shareholders. There was a cash surplus. I've nothing else to say on the subject".

It is too early to say what the implications are for Charlton, who now become the largest club in the network.  It doesn't appear on the surface that Duchâtelet is walking away from owning football clubs and, who knows, he might be on the lookout for a club to replace Standard in his network? There would appear to be a negative in the fact that the loans of players like Buyens and Bulot and the purchase of the likes of Ben Haim and Watt will no longer be quite so simple.  A more positive implication might be that he will focus more energy on achieving success with Charlton and, if he is looking to withdraw cash from the club, the most realistic way of doing so would appear to be through promotion to the Premier League.