Futsal, Femina, training center…: all Standard entities are plunged into limbo

Futsal, Femina, training center…: all Standard entities are plunged into limbo
Futsal, Femina, training center…: all Standard entities are plunged into limbo

All these entities of the main club, most often submerged parts of the iceberg, are also disturbed by the unstable and anxiety-provoking climate which has reigned in Liège in recent weeks, and the prospect of a takeover.

Amber Barrett, one of Standard Femina’s key players: “Thanks to the team and the staff, I was able to raise my level”

Femina will have to fill the departures

A plunge into uncertainty which did not prevent Standard Femina, the most successful team in Belgian women’s football, from finishing in a very good second place in the Superleague, behind Anderlecht. “I congratulate the girls, declared coach Stéphane Guidi in our podcast Cleaning. We hardly spoke (Editor’s note: extra-sporting problems) because all this is happening above us. I am there to coach, the players to play and the management to direct… We were still kept informed at certain times and things appeared in the press…”

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It’s not a subject that scared us.

There were delays in the payment of salaries, which may have bothered some players who had to pay their rent and daily expenses, but this did not seem to taint the osmosis of a group supported through a positive sporting spiral. “It’s not a subject that scared us,” says player Laura Miller, still in our podcast.

The 2023-2024 season has barely closed and we must already (try) to look at the next one, inevitably conditioned by the takeover which is looming. With what workforce? What ambition? And above all, what budget? This will depend on the intentions of future buyers.

The transfer ban also concerns the women’s team.

Internally, we have already made progress on refining the core which, despite several departures (Coutereels, Nelissen, Lewerissa, Cordier, Desmarais, etc.), should remain competitive. And the broad outlines of which had been defined before the emergence of the legal-financial scandal targeting the American owners of 777 Partners.

The ban on transfers currently affecting the Standard freezes certain incoming files, we are told, however in a resolutely optimistic tone for the future.

Justine Blave celebrates her goal against Ghent Ladies on May 17.

Futsal still dreams of D1

Another entity of the club, futsal can be considered “apart”. It is in fact significantly less professional – even if one or the other player is rather well paid – and at the same time depends on independent sponsors from 777 Partners.

The few payment delays have been resolved, we are assured. “We read and heard a lot of things but it didn’t really impact the team or its organization, says an interlocutor. We are not talking about the same amounts…”

Jupiler Pro League: Standard loses its unplayed match against Westerlo by a forfeit score

The team finished in third place in D2B this season, behind Aarschot and Lierse. “I think the team had the level to improve but, in certain matches, they messed up.”

According to our information, the club maintains the ambition (to try) to move up to D1 next season. But, given the extra-sporting context, convincing new players has become more complicated.

No exodus to campus

Finally, within the training center, questions remain. Many parents wonder and worry. Others regret not having disaffiliated their child in time. “Some are inquiring about leaving but, despite everything we hear, Standard remains attractive. It’s not the exodus,” comments an agent who knows the SL16 Football Campus well.

In recent weeks, we have also heard that several parents have asked… Charleroi, whose training center has been developing well in recent years, for a departure. At Sporting, we temper the appeal: “Yes, we have received requests, but we are not going to welcome twenty Standard players either.” Aaron Balongo, an offensive player born in 2008 and described as very promising, has in any case signed with the Zebras.

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We work day by day…

Today, in all departments of the RSCL, from the sports sections to the administrative employees, we are still hoping for good, strong and reassuring news, very quickly, as the 2024-25 season prepares. “We are working day by day, without knowing what tomorrow will bring but acting as if everything were normal, comments an employee. It’s difficult to plan ahead but we remain hopeful.” He gives life.

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