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"If you want some accessible but informative insight into football then I suggest you couldn't do better than the Political Economy of Football website, which is not only intelligible but comes with the added bonus of being written by Addicks fan Wyn Grant."
Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Belgian Juliper League


Leicester's owners buy Belgian club

Leicester City's owners, King Power, have reached agreement to buy OH Leuven, a Belgian second division team.

What the relationship will be with Leicester City is unclear, but it could serve as a feeder club given the number of high quality players Belgium has produced in recent years.   It could also be used to give experience to Leicester players.

New crowdfunding platform for players

Kickrs.Net is a new digital crowdfunding platform that allows fans to fund the acquistion of new young players at their club.   Belgian Juliper Pro League club Sint-Truiden is the first to feature with a young Greek player being targeted.

€103,175 Euros has been raised so far from 289 investors.  That's an average of €357 Euros per investor or approximately £260.

European leagues hit by Premiership wealth

The wealth of the Premier League is having an increasing effect on other European leagues.  Often highly priced transfers bring a welcome stream of income, but the standard is getting worse.   Even in top leagues such as that of Spain it is becoming more and more difficult in terms of salaries to compete with almost all the Premier League clubs and even some in the Championship.

Standard Liege sold

Roland Duchatelet has sold Standard Liege to the club's vice-president Bruno Venanzi.   He co-founded an energy company which specialises in green tariffs in 2003.   So far 83 per cent of Standard fans voting in an online poll have welcomed the news.

Top 30 Benelux Football Clubs Ranked by Average Match Attendance 2013

AFC Ajax headed the list of the top thirty football clubs in Belgium and the Netherlands as ranked by average match attendances (domestic league matches - number of spectators) in season 2012/13.

The top tier in Holland is called the Eredivisie and consists of 18 clubs. In season 2012/13 the average attendance was 19,620 and the championship was won by AFC Ajax (its 32nd championship).

Are feeder clubs the wave of the future?

Many Charlton fans were upset yesterday at the replacement of their popular manager Chris Powell by a Belgian coach, although in some cases that was tempered by the realisation that football remains a results business.

There was also resentment at the conversion of Charlton in what is perceived to be a feeder club for the Belgian Pro league leaders, Standard Liege. However, given the state of football finances and the difficulty of achieving success without a wealthy benefactor, could that be the way ahead for smaller clubs? Are Charlton ahead of the curve?

Charlton owner may sell his Belgian club

Often reliable Belgian newspaper Le Soir is reporting that the owner of Standard Liège Roland Duchâtelet may sell the current leaders of the Belgian Juliper Pro League, ten points clear of their nearest rival. The offer is believed to be around €50m with the money already paid into the Rothschild Bank. However, Roland is understood to be holding out for €60m.

The owner has a family of six European football clubs in ownership either directly or indirectly. However, the Walloon club is regarded as the mother ship with other clubs performing a player development role.

The multi-club model

New Charlton Athletic owner Roland Duchatelet owns or has interests in five other football clubs: Standard Liege, FC Brussels and AFC Tubize in Belgium; (through his son) Upjest FC in Hungary; and Carl Zeiss Jena in Germany. He is also said to be eyeing Ad Alcorin in the Spanish second division.

What is the motivation for such a multi-club model? Charlton blogger New York Addick has considered its possible commercial merits:

Royal Standard de Liège

Traditional Standard de Liege football shirt

The club was founded in 1900 as Standard FC, by students at the Saint-Servais High School in Liege. In 1910 it changed to Standard Club Liégeois and by 1923 had taken its present name. Standard has won the Belgian league on 10 occasions, most recently in 2007-08 and 2008-09, and also won 5 Belgian Cups. Home matches are played at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne (Capacity: 30,030).

Turnover and pre-tax profit figures are in Euro millions.


Top 20 Benelux Football Clubs by Average Match Attendance - 2006-07 to 2008-09

Amsterdam Ajax headed the list of the top twenty football clubs in Belgium and the Netherlands as ranked by average match attendances (domestic league matches - number of spectators) in season 2008-09.

The top tier in Holland is called the Eredivisie and consists of 18 clubs. In season 2008/09 the Championship was won by AZ Alkmaar. The top tier in Belgium was called the Jupiler Pro League. It consisted of 16 clubs and in season 2008/09 was won by Standard Liège, its 10th Belgian championship.