Last words from Liege


Whatever has been said of the Duchâtelet network, the experience brought us new friends from Liege, in the shape of Jacques Seron of the Standard Socios, and Douglas de Coninck of de Morgen newspaper. Both of them shared their thoughts with us last week as the news broke of the sale of Standard.

It’s fair to say that both are positive about the sale to Bruno Venanzi. He is a Liege native and local businessman, who said that it was his childhood dream to play for Standard. Among other things, Venanzi committed to creating an equity share for fans. He said: "This is a project close to my heart for the next 3 or 5 years ... to 'Barcelonian'. I think we need a minimum of three years; for an IPO, it is necessary to first understand all the workings of such an operation and to show transparency in the figures. We will then conduct an assessment of the club by an independent expert and by public subscription depending on the interest."

Douglas, who has interviewed Roland Duchâtelet several times, noted that Roland was asked if the sale changes the “pyramid”, and he answered that there has never been a pyramid. However Douglas says this is nonsense. He believes Roland only denies it in order to avoid problems in player negotiations. Douglas says:

“Standard was at the top of the pyramid and now it's Charlton, where Katrien Meire is praised for the work she does. It's what it's all about for Duchâtelet: changing old habits and rules in football. By buying players without transfer fees, promoting synthetic pitches, putting a young woman at the lead of a team...

I think it's good news for Standard and for Charlton….”

And so the brief connection between London SE7 and a surprisingly fiery city in southern Belgium came to an end. We will miss our friends there, who taught us a lot, and wish Standard the very best. It’s a club with a soul.