Fanboard shares reports

WEDNESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2023, 17:38 - emjomi
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INTERVIEWS Reports from the fanboard have been around for a while, we wrote about them, and got a lot of reactions. Especially by the fanboard members themselves. They have now decided to share the reports themselves because there is no info coming from the club, also the members can only share what they are told

They have now shared the report of the meeting last Monday online themselves.

Report meeting Marc Coucke - Wouter Vandenhaute - Jesper Fredberg

RSCA: Marc Coucke, Wouter Vandenhaute, Jesper Fredberg, Tim Borguet, Mathias Declercq.
SCs: representation of the 32 away groups

Intro by Marc Coucke, followed by Q&A.

Why were only 32 SCs invited?

Marc: I wanted to invite more people, but the club (press spokesman) itself decided to ask only the 16 away groups.

Why wasn't the report of the meeting with WVDH shared on-line?

Mathias: The club was not asking to share that at the time, as it was a confidential meeting, and they do not want to provide the press with inside info said in the privacy of the meeting. It was confirmed by Mathias afterwards that we were allowed to distribute the report we got back from Anderlecht.

What is the vision of Marc/RvB on the dismissal of Kompany

It was actually directly mentioned that we as supporters still find it incomprehensible that "the club" put someone me the soccer mind of Kompany at the door. Marc passed the ball on to Wouter, who then replied with the familiar line that Kompany wanted full sporting power (i.e. to be both CEO Sports and trainer) and that they didn't think that was a good structure. Now that structure is in place with Fredberg as CEO and Riemer as trainer. They also maintain that both parties parted ways as good friends.

Do you realize Marc, that with your tweet after the cup final, you threw your trainer in front of the bus?

Marc: No, I don't agree with that, first of all that tweet was put out of supporter disappointment, and secondly, it's just that that week was crucial in function of our plan to play European with Vincent. Since that goal was not achieved there, we realized that the following season with Vincent was going to be very difficult because of Vincent's ambitions versus (financial) reality.

And that is why you will be meeting with Mazzu the week after the cup final?

Marc: No, we strongly deny that.
à reaction comes from Mauves Army that they know that RSCA was already in talks with Mazzu since November, and that consequently they no longer had confidence in Vincent (November was the Charleroi away where Kompany's head was on the chopping block).

Were you yourself behind the termination of the Kompany project?

Marc: No, and I wasn't aware of it and didn't really agree with it either. From the BoD we did express our concern, but Wouter was executive chairman at the time for known reasons and made that decision.

Why did the BoD let Wouter do it in this dossier (and in other dossiers)

Marc: See above, because he was executive chairman at the time.

Can you explain the the difference between an executive and a non-executive chairman?

Marc: An executive chairman controls the daily policy, a non-executive chairman has 3 tasks;
* Being the face of the company
* Liaison between the BoD and the CEOs.
* Assisting the CEOs when necessary if they ask for it.

Marc would like to strongly emphasize here that Wouter absolutely does not interfere with day-to-day policies (sporting & non-sporting) anymore. Also an intervention by (an exasperated) Wouter that we should then ask Fredberg if he is still interfering. Our reaction that it is quite logical that he will not contradict his boss is met with laughter. Similarly, someone's comment that he should not come home with the title of non-executive spouse is met with laughter, except by Wouter.

You own about 40 companies with Alychlo, do they all have a non-executive chairman?

Marc: No, but it is something that happens in business, especially in larger companies.

In 2019, you indicated that there was a 3-year plan. We are now in early 2023, what about this?

Marc: We have to confirm that not much has come of this plan because of several reasons; Covid being 1 of them, the discontinuation of the league that we were the only one not supporting, the loss of the cup final,...

We do want to assure that there is a commitment from the BoD that if there are losses in the next 2yrs, they will be adjusted. (Coucke did not literally say this, but he had started to do so, only to suddenly deviate from it afterwards. He may have been talking out of turn here).

We also realize from the BoD that in soccer it is often "the winner takes it all". When things are going well (athletically) all is well, when things go badly scapegoats must be sought. We urgently need to get our "flywheel" going to get launched again. We can also see that we are not going to play champion within this and 2 years, but we hope to end this season on a positive note (get some more done in Europe and get to POs) and not that it is already over in March, because that would put another brake on our ambitions.

What is the situation of Jean Kindermans? Do you understand that we as supporters absolutely do not accept this course of events (giving notice ifv "change of mentality")?

Marc: There is absolutely a clear desire from the BoD to continue with Jean. We hear that talks with Jean are ongoing, and for us Jean is absolutely part of RSCA's future. I also recognize that putting Jean on notice is an odd choice from a policy perspective, but we also have to honestly admit that Jean's contract dates from x-number of years ago and urgently needs to be "modernized."

Fredberg: Jean's office is next to mine, we have incredibly good conversations and do have a "click" and also share the same vision. So I also hope that we can work it out contractually and put this behind us soon.

3 weeks ago in the conversation with WVDH we asked if it was true that Verbeke would be fired. No answer was given. 2 days later he was fired. Why was this not confirmed then when we already knew?

Marc: I strongly deny that you could have already known that at that time, since it was Jesper's decision and Jesper alone to stop working with Peter.

Do you realize that an awful lot of mistakes were made in the past, starting with Devroe, and we are still suffering the consequences of that today?

Marc: (getting angry) The intention was for Devroe to run alongside HVH for 2j to learn the stile at Anderlecht, because I realize all too well that Ostend is not Anderlecht. But after 2 weeks, so many corpses had fallen out of the closet at HVH that I had to intervene and Luc was on his own, with all the known consequences.

Besides, you supporters cost us a lot of money, because when you stop a match you say: Coucke will pay!

We hit back by saying that the severance packages of Mazzu and Verbeke are not our fault, and that they cost a lot more than a flare-up or a halted match.

Marc then cites that, according to him, we would have won the match at home against Zulte if there had been an audience, while for us this is a non argument. A bitter discussion ensues in which Marc accuses MA03 of making threats against him because someone sent him threatening tweets in MA03's name. MA03 replies that they have never made threats to him, and that it is a non argument since anyone can say he is MA03 member. Marc also states that if any threats are made in the future he will go to the police, to which we replicate that that is only correct.

What is the short- and long-term plan now and then what is the difference between now and Vincent's vision?
Marc: In the short term we now have a clear structure with our 2 CEOs with the various departments underneath, itt Vincent who wanted to be both CEO and trainer. This also implies that WVDH is no longer involved in the daily management of the club. In the medium term we expect a good mercato from Jesper this summer and next season everyone starts again with 0 points. In the long term, of course we want to compete for the prizes again, but I'm not going to put a deadline or year on that.

So why does Jesper only have a 1.5j contract?

Jesper: I realize that this is a (too) short term, but I will do everything I can to contribute. I have also been guaranteed that if I do a good job, a contract extension is not an issue.

Why are there no former players in management, the staff or in the BoD?

Marc: You also have to find them. Who among former players has the right skills to take up such a position? Sometimes it is also an advantage that there are few people in an Executive Board with knowledge of soccer, to prevent X or Y from pushing his opinion too strongly.

Wouter: I made the suggestion to Jesper to look around for former players who might be interesting to strengthen our structure.

Do you understand that we have little confidence in Wouter as president because of what has happened in the recent past? Do you realize that a step back from Wouter as president could provide the necessary "peace" in the tent?

Marc: Who will you take as chairman then? Jefke? And then you will lose two matches and Jefke will be the scapegoat. It doesn't work that way.

Kenneth Bornauw is not here, but you do understand that we find it unbelievable that you appoint a partnership manager who has clearly made anti-RSCA statements in the past?

Marc: My mailbox exploded less than 15 minutes after that news came out. We immediately changed our internal procedures to make sure something like this cannot happen again. We also immediately decided not to start working with the person involved.

What guarantee do we have that you will not sell the club within x number of years once you can earn back your contributed capital?

Marc (getting angry): I can assure you that it is absolutely not my intention to sell the club, neither now, nor in the future. I have only sold 2 companies in my entire life, all the rest are still my property!

May we summarize as a final conclusion that after these 2.5 hours of meetings, you confirmed on behalf of the board that the two CEOs can work independently without interference from WVDH.

Marc: Yes, I fully agree
So may we ask you to go and tell this to the press downstairs, to provide the necessary clarity to everyone?

Marc: Yes and no, because I am not the mouthpiece of the club and then the press will start looking for me again. This is refuted by us that this can easily be framed and that we expect a clear signal from him as the main shareholder. After discussion with the Mathias, Marc agrees to give a short statement.

Final conclusion of the fanboard:

After this main shareholder-led meeting, our opinion remains behind the resignation of Wouter as non-performing chairman.

The issues presented in terms of financial policy were clear on both sides, the comments were heard and pointed out. Here we do note that 5 years after the takeover by Marc Coucke we still haven't moved a step forward on the sporting front, partly due to past mistakes, but also due to wrong choices made by Wouter as chairman.

Fredberg's presence was clearly to cover up and camouflage Wouter's wrong choices.

We do need to note that we FULLY support the vision of Fredberg and his current team and will give him the opportunity to develop in his own way WITHOUT interference from the president. The future will show if he can and may play this role effectively.

Marc treated everyone's opinions with respect, which we could not say in the previous meetings with Wouter.

We asked the obvious question if Marc still has confidence in the non-performing president after, among other things, his faulty and mostly no communication and his decisions on sports (Verbeke, Kindermans, Kompany).

Marc answered that it is up to the RVB to judge this, but we did not get a resounding yes from himself.

We also add that as a fanboard it is/was never our intention to demand the withdrawal of capital from the club from the main shareholders. We continue to believe that a club should be run by people with knowledge of the business (both sporting and non-sporting), and that no one is bigger than the club.

As mentioned at the meeting, we say again that a board is made up of passives. The future will show what role the fanboard will play in this, but we will continue to monitor everything closely and if any actions follow, the intention is certainly not to harm the club financially.

The fanboard

Source: © Internal source

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