Now that RSC Anderlecht has been taken over by Mark Coucke, the Vanden Stock era is coming to an end. Roger Vanden Stock will remain President until the 1st of March 2018. Coucke will then become President and Vanden Stock will become honorary President. The two men explained all this during a press conference on Friday. They talked about the club being bought by the businessman, who has been President of KV Ostende since 2013. “We can expect Anderlecht to be stronger in five years”, says Roger Vanden Stock.
“It’s the end of an era”, says Roger Vanden Stock. He has been President since 1996, when he took over from his father Constant, who had managed the Brussels club since 1971. “We made the decision to sell to Marc Coucke the day before yesterday; the family, the old faithfuls and everyone else who takes part in these decisions like Herman Van Hoolsbeck and Jo Van Biesbroeck. We hope we have made the right decision. When you see Marc Coucke’s ambition, I think we have”.
Coucke’s takeover of the club marks the end of a saga that had been going on for several weeks. “I’m relieved, as I needed to find a successor. I’m 75 years old after all”, says an obviously happy Vanden Stock. “I think I’ve needed someone to take over someone for the last few years. My daughters will of course still have links to the club. Marc isn’t taking all the shares. There will still be shareholders like my daughters, Alexandre Van Damme, Etienne Davignon… You need to keep some links to the past”.
At the start of the press conference, Marc Coucke thanked Roger Vanden Stock and the shareholders for “daring to choose the project they believed in the most, rather than the project that would earn the most”.
“All the offers were attractive. Marc Coucke had the strongest ambition and vision”, Vanden Stock explained. With Marc Coucke at the helm, Anderlecht will be run by a billionaire who will be ready to shell out to give the club what it needs to shine. Will this make Anderlecht stronger in the near future? “With his financial backing, we can expect Anderlecht to be stronger in five years. This is partly what made us choose Marc Coucke”.
Roger Vanden Stock will now become honorary President. “I will still be there for the club. When my father gave me the club 21 years ago, he told me “I’ll leave you to manage it, but you can always ask for advice”. I hope I will still remain an “advisor” for Anderlecht”.