CEO Fredberg and coach Riemer try to calm down dissatisfied Anderlecht fans: “We have a plan, but it takes time”

The tension on Anderlecht can be cut. In an open letter, supporters demand the resignation of chairman Wouter Vandenhaute (60), whom they accuse of mismanagement and a lack of transparency and charisma. “Confidence is completely gone.” In a long-planned conversation with a fan delegation, CEO Jesper Fredberg and coach Brian Riemer tried to calm things down a bit.

Jurgen Geril

The Anderlecht board can still count itself lucky that the top match at Club Brugge will be completed without visiting fans on Sunday and that no audience is allowed at the home match against Zulte Waregem, because the supporters are furious. This was evident from the open letter they sent out to the world, which was signed by various supporter groups. In that letter they shoot live ammunition at chairman Wouter Vandenhaute. They thank him for his contribution to the capital increase, but then state: “Confidence is completely gone. The successive decisions are misunderstood at best and destructive at worst. (…) The eleventh place is also the responsibility of the chairman, who is unable to bring order and discipline to the core. (…) We were appalled that after the embarrassing defeat at Zulte Waregem, the chairman comforted the players like little children instead of putting them in their place.”

Vanden haute is going to respond

After the departure of Kompany, the reason for the revolt is mainly the push aside of youth director Jean Kindermans, who helped launch a lot of talent. An intervention that Anderlecht should at least have tried to explain (in advance) to its supporters. Now the fans are writing. “This was the last straw. Now you have knocked an extra nail into the coffin of our legendary club. (…) The bottom line is: resign as chairman.”

The tenor was so negative that many observers thought that Wouter Vandenhaute or owner Marc Coucke should communicate with the fans himself, but that did not happen yet. Coucke no longer wants to invest extra money in the club and the current board must therefore reorganize. Still, Vandenhaute believes that his new sporting CEO Jesper Fredberg will provide reinforcement in a very creative way and new coach Brian Riemer will lead the team away from the disastrous eleventh place. Vandenhaute would come up with a statement before Sunday.

It was the two Danes, who have only been working for the Purple & White for a month in the evening, who received a delegation of 44 supporters in the stadium. A meeting that was already scheduled for 21 December, but which now gained even more weight due to the crisis situation. The task of Jesper Fredberg and Brian Riemer was not an easy one. They explained the sporting project with a very limited budget and assured that there will be offensive reinforcements. The conversation eventually lasted three hours, afterwards another glass was drunk.

Fredberg takes time

Fredberg then briefly addressed the media. “It hurts that the fans are not happy. They make this club unique and important. Of course I understand their unrest, because Anderlecht has a great tradition, but at the moment we are where we are. We now have to get out of that by taking the right small steps. I have a plan, but it takes time. The chairman will also communicate, because he has a great passion for the club. Our ambition is to bring Anderlecht back to the top, but there are no shortcuts.”

Still, Anderlecht needs an unexpected victory. If that could be done on Sunday in Jan Breydel, it would remove some unrest. Although the reverse also applies: a painful loss undoubtedly causes extra enthusiasm. The fans already thought that they did not get a conclusive answer to the Vandenhaute issue…

© Marc Gysens

© Marc Gysens

© Marc Gysens

© Marc Gysens

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