Peter Croonen is Wednesday in Diegem elected the new chairman of the Pro League. At a special General Meeting in the Parker Hotel was Croonen the unanimous support of the electorate. The Genk chairman follows Marc Coucke and was the only candidate. There was at the meeting, no agreement was found on a new format, for the proposal from Club Brugge (20 teams without play-offs) there was no majority found. To the annoyance of Bart Verhaeghe. The reform of the professional leagues, so again in the fridge.
The high point for the 49-year-old Croonen, since march 2018 a seat in the board of directors. Last week, if the Limburg entrepreneur his first national championship with KRC Genk celebrate. Now he also takes the place of Marc Coucke, that in april his office as chairman of the Pro League in the decision.
The Anderlecht-president, followed in June 2018 Roger Vanden Stock, but got not even one year later. Coucke called the presidency sensitive to conflicts of interest, and very time consuming. He wanted to focus on his commitments at RSCA.
Croonen made an impression on his fellow-voetbalbestuurders by his work ethic. He is seen as the anti-type of his predecessor: someone who has a lot of work behind the scenes, but the grandeur in front of the cameras shy away.
“For the love of the Belgian football”
“This was not really my ambition, well-known Croonen in the press conference afterwards. “Club president you become with your heart, with the mind and for the love of the Belgian football. One has asked me and there was unanimity. That was important, having regard to the cases presented. The brokers is an important file and there is also the file matchfixing, but that is the responsibility of the belgian football association. I’m not a white knight. The Pro League has a president needed to go fast to bet on.”
“What is very important for me is, is that my neutrality up to want to save. I have to be a member, not independent, because we are a non-profit association. It was a opinion of Marc Coucke that the presidency of the Pro League is not compatible with the presidency of a club. I see it differently: we are a non-profit association. But I will be neutral and ethical act.”
Plan of Club Brugge voted out
The appointment of the Genk chairman means that the play-offs provisionally continue to exist. Croonen had his candidacy as president of the associated. The plan of Club Bruges, a league with 20 clubs, was voted down. There was a majority of 80 percent, or 36 of the 45 votes. That was not, and that means that there is also next season with the current formula of the play-offs are being worked on.
“There was a 2/3rd majority needed to change the format after 2020, and that is voted,” says Croonen. “We have tried to keep two fully-fledged alternatives to stitches. Mehdi Bayat, when the meeting is chaired. Then came the question of whether there for one of the two formulas, a 2/3rd majority was to be found, which was not the case. At the next meeting we are going to see what small changes can be made to the play-offs. In the atmosphere of a 16/8 play-offs.”
“Genk has always been supporter of the play-offs, but here, I wear a different hat. I am convinced that we in the interest of the Belgian football competition for the formula of play-off 1 to choose. We can, however, still improvements for Play-off 2, and 1B. We have, however, first on the format of discussion, and only then about the presidency. I would not be a candidate have been when we go to a regular competition went back.”
Bart Verhaeghe walks angrily
The three possible formats were: the retention of the current format, a regular league with 20 teams and play-offs with 14 teams. The new format that advance most enjoyed the support, was a league with twenty teams. So without play-offs. “But that proposal was narrowly voted down,” said Joseph Allijns, president of KV Kortrijk, to the assembled press.
Bart Verhaeghe was first angry at the Parker Hotel in Diegem after his favourite format, the mood had not survived.
Now the format is known, can be re-negotiated tv contract, which expires about a year. “So it was important that we have the discussion about the format could quit,” says Croonen. “One will be disappointed, the other satisfied. The history says that the play-offs is a good thing, both for the height of the amounts as the coefficient.”
The management of the Pro League was given the assignment of a concrete proposal of improvements to the system of Play-Off 2. This proposal is on the General Meeting of June 7, presented, and voted, and may also have a vote on the retention of the division of points in Play – Off 1.
Anderlecht are happy with the status quo
Anderlecht was satisfied that the proposal of Club Brugge (20 teams and no play-offs) was voted down. “We were not reluctant to use a small change, but as such it is okay for us”, says sports director Michael Verschueren. “This is final, I do not think that there is so much is going to change. A status quo so. Maybe there is even a improvement of Play-off 2, where it is later looked at. I think we now need to look at what is happening in Europe will happen but that will be after 2024.”
Coucke in Board of Directors
Luciano D’onofrio, the General Meeting of the Pro League elected representative of the professional clubs in the Executive Committee of the belgian football association. The mandates of Joseph Allijns and Mehdi Bayat were extended by 4 years.
Marc Coucke re-enters the Board of Directors of the Pro League, as chairman Peter Croonen the mandate of KRC Genk leaves to another club from the G5.