Bart De Wever reacts cautiously to a proposal to break the stadium impasse

© DBA, Robin Fasseur

Antwerp

Tania Mintjens, owner of the grounds of the Bosuil, has made an ultimate proposal after the targeted attack by Antwerp boss Paul Gheysens to get the rock-solid stadium file out of the doldrums. During the celebration of national champion Antwerp in the city hall, Gheysens still turned “with an evil eye” to mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA). “The Mintjens problem has already cost me enough money,” he said at the time. The mayor then agreed with him. Now that Mintjens reaches out, De Wever reacts diplomatically.

Antwerp chairman Paul Gheysens was very fierce during the ceremony on Monday. “The Mintjens problem has already cost me enough money. We had previous match (to Union, ed.) 40,000 tickets can be sold. We can let twice as many people enjoy our football, but they can’t buy a ticket. We don’t have room. It’s a disaster. It is completely impossible to grow in this way. Completely. You can’t keep that up. How long can that take?” he wondered.

During his speech, he turned “an evil eye” at the mayor. And Bart De Wever also agreed: “Paul Gheysens is right. This stadium file must now be resolved if you really have a heart for the club.”

Bart De Wever and Paul Gheysens during the ceremony in the town hall. — © BELGIUM

Afterwards, the rumor even circulated in the corridors of the Schoon Verdiep that the city council would consider expropriating the Bosuil grounds. According to experts, this controversial option would not even be unthinkable or unfeasible.

But that track is suddenly much less permitted, now that Tania Mintjens reaches out to Paul Gheysens. “Suddenly I was no longer Tania Mintjens, but ‘the problem Mintjens’. That hit hard, yes. I was completely devastated,” she responds in an exclusive interview Gazette of Antwerp. “I also want that new stadium.”

That is why Mintjens is now making an ultimate proposal. She does not sell the land, but Gheysens would be allowed to continue using the Bosuil grounds for the next 99 years thanks to a new leasehold, and moreover for free. Albeit under a number of conditions.

What does the mayor think of that proposal? “As already emphasized, we are not an involved party in this file, but we only mediate between the two parties,” said Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever through his spokesperson. “We adhere to the principle that what is good for the club is also good for the city. So I cannot say more about that.” To be continued.

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