It wasn’t calm in Anderlecht last year, but the Purple & White Council hardly talked about it. Until now. Peter Vandenbett gave an extensive interview to Peter Verbeek this week. The newly appointed CEO spoke freely about the choppy results of this season, the lessons of Vincent Kompany, the club’s financial situation and his position. Get ready for very interesting questions and answers.
Peter Verbeke, evaluate Anderlecht at the stop profit point.
“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs in recent months. We’ve started the season with a whole new team. Then it’s really building, looking at automation. I think that’s also why we lost that important European game against Vitesse – financially and sportingly it was a huge relegation. “.
“In the meantime, we’re in good flow: we’re in the top four in the competition and have qualified for the cup semi-finals. We are very satisfied in this area.”
Was this evaluation the same as a month ago? Then the team didn’t radiate anything on Syring.
“That’s what I mean by those ups and downs. At home against Club Brugge, in Genk and ten matches in Ostend, we played good matches, but the period after that was very little. That fluctuation has to continue. Because I am convinced we have enough quality to find stability in our game” .
Is Anderlecht more sporty than it was a year ago?
“As you know, I especially remember a match in October 2020 at Jan Breedel. We had absolutely no chance against Klopp at the time, Anderlecht was in crisis. Really big strides have been made since then. Despite the small transfer budget and the small Year. The group, we finished fourth. And this season, thanks to good scouts, we were able to form a competitive core.”
We knew we were going to pay tuition when Vincent Company was hired. But the advantages will always outweigh the disadvantages.
Didn’t it take so long before Vincent Company found stability? It is no coincidence that the results are there since he chose an ordinary team …
“Yes and no. Because you have to deal with the reality of so many newcomers you have to fit in – it makes sense to try things as a coach. And on the other hand, we have to be honest with you, with a young coach. It’s also a learning process for Vincent.”
“We knew when he was appointed that we would pay tuition. We will continue to do so in the future, but Vincent Kompany’s advantages will always be far greater than the disadvantages. It is up to (Chief, Red) Wouter Vandenhaute and myself to Vincent for help.”
Was Kompany’s position questioned?
(Immediately) “No. Whether we are working the right way. We talked about it with the coach and the key players, asking: Can we do something from management to achieve better results? People management for employees…”
“The approach has always been that we want to continue with the same team of people. There should not be a football culture here in which we change the coach, assistant or sporting director every 5 minutes. We want stability and believe very strongly in the qualities that exist.”
“Look, I think we should help Vincent. Not only him, but also T2 Willem (Weijs, editor) and Floribert (Ngalula, editor) are very young. If there are things that can be improved or if there are questions from the group of players, there is a debate. Open about that. I think we’ll succeed, but it’s a process we all go through together. We’re definitely not thinking: We’ll change our coach and everything will be fine.”
When I explain to my wife why Vincent Kompany is a top coach in the making, I’m not saying it’s a monument to Anderlecht.
Does this have anything to do with who Vincent Company is? My photos are from Anderlecht and Belgian football.
“Honestly: it doesn’t matter. When I explain to my wife why Vincent is a great coach in the making, I’m not saying it’s a monument to Anderlecht. Then it comes down to his quintessential qualities, the detailed course, the way in which he appeals to the boys, his hard work, the way he surrounds him.” …and that only reinforces my belief that Vincent is going to be a great coach.”
Did it develop in certain areas? Is this a different coach than it was a year ago?
“Sure. Vincent will stay Vincent – he won’t change course easily. Although his stubbornness should not be overstated either. For example, he started in a 4-3-3 system with one six and a double pocket. Double six and one pocket.”
“To then become 4-4-2 and then 4-2-2-2. It happened within a year. So Vincent is someone who certainly asks himself, but he never does it impulsively. He needs a lot of arguments to do something different. It is up to us to give them and resist.”
Shocked at what it means to be a head coach? Managing a group is perhaps the biggest challenge. Not all of Vincent Kompany…
“I think that was actually the biggest point of action: not taking oneself as a rule. The player and the person Vincent Kompany is a very special thing, if you take yourself as a reference point … then it becomes very difficult. In this field he has made a huge development.”
Let’s talk about the bigger picture again. What is Anderlecht’s ambition?
“I don’t think we can call ourselves title favorites – we haven’t shown that yet. For example, we haven’t won against Club, Gent, Genk or Antwerp. At the start of the season, the goal was to get to the first game and qualify in Europe: that’s still the way it is. The case. Purely qualitatively, we must not be inferior to the competition. We just do not have the comfort to be better than them.”
Note from the outside: Anderlecht appears to have taken a step or two back in terms of his youth. How do you see this development?
“Last year, the balance in our core was lost. There were a lot of young players with little experience, who had tremendous pressure on their shoulders. This is not the ideal way to achieve sporting success and youth development. Now the group is more balanced.”
“But I don’t agree that we will now give too few opportunities to young players. In every position – except for the left-back – there is a young player from the academy who is ready to take on the task from an experienced pawn. They train every day to impose their place, but we don’t give it to them.”
Peter Verbeke with Marco Kana, one of the talents from Neerpede.
Will Anderlecht still look for reinforcements in the next transfer window?
“We have a well-balanced core and we don’t want to disrupt that. There is enough quality. On the other hand, you never know what will happen externally, but the resources are not there to make investments in this way. We have to continue with the difficult budget in the coming years.”
Our first concern is to ensure Anderlecht’s presence for a long time to come.
How is the club financially? Previous annual accounts turned red…
“The new annual accounts are also very negative – another loss of 29 million euros. We must continue to save in sports and non-sports. The audit showed that Anderlecht still has a long way to go before it recovers again. New money was necessary, but this is only the beginning.
The fans naturally want to see Anderlecht as the No. 1, not the challenger.
“I understand that. But they have to realize that we avoided a catastrophic scenario. You can play the champions but at the same time accumulate losses… There are a lot of foreign clubs that have gone like this. Our first concern is to ensure Anderlecht continues for a long time to come.
Finally, let’s talk about yourself. Why did you become CEO of Anderlecht?
“During the capital increase, an audit was conducted on the whole company. It showed that good strides were already being taken in the sports field – especially in terms of budget – but this should have had an impact throughout the entire organization.”
“We also had to go down this path operationally and commercially. Investors new and old asked me to take on this role and implement the business plan for the next five years as CEO. I answered a resounding yes.”
Becoming a football CEO is a risky profession.
(laughs) “There are many dangerous professions in football. The CEO will undoubtedly be one of them. I believe in a structure that does not work with a sports director anyway, because they often focus on the short-term result and pull a portfolio too much. Wide open To achieve this, we want to be successful with a long-term financial position in mind.
Good luck with that.
Watch the full interview with Peter Verbeke below
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