October 12, 2011

Belgium: 2011-12 Belgian Pro League – location map, with 2010-11 attendance data and titles list.

Filed under: Belgium,Football Stadia — admin @ 8:29 pm

Belgian Pro League

Note: The map includes color swaths which show the Dutch-speaking region (Flanders) and the French-speaking region (Wallonia), as well as the bi-lingual area (Brussels-Capital Region), plus the German-speaking areas of eastern Liège province. The Dutch versus French language issue, along with economic disparities between the better-off Flemish and the poorer Waloon regions are especially relevant now, because that is the root cause of the Belgian government’s now-year-long shutdown {see this article from, from 14 June, 2011, by Brian Dawson, ‘Silence is not golden in Belgium’s year of living dangerously}’.

The Belgian Pro League is currently ranked #12 in Europe by UEFA [for 2012], up 1 position [from 2011] – UEFA ‘league’ coefficients. The Belgian Pro League, which as a whole drew 11,574 per game in 2010-11, draws better than the top leagues of 3 countries it is ranked below…Portugal (ranked #6/10,080 per game in 2010-11)), Ukraine (ranked #8/9,225 per game in 2010-11), and Greece (ranked #11/6,424 per game).

As of 12 Oct.2011, Anderlecht top the table by 1 point over Gent and Club Brugge.
Belgian Top League- fixtures, results, table (

The Belgian Pro League is playing it’s 109th season, and it’s third season since the league shrunk down from 18 to 16 teams, started playing during the Christmas/New Year holiday season, and, most controversially, instituted a complex playoff system.

Reigning champions are KRC Genk (Koninklijke Racing Club Genk), who now have won 4 Belgian titles. In May, 2011, Genk won the mini-league, 6-team playoff competition – called Playoff I – over Standard Liège, by half a point. That half-point-difference was the result of the format, which halves each team’s points when the league is split into 3 different mini-leagues from March to May each season (ie, odd-numbered points totals will become numbers with a .5 at the end of it) . The vast majority of Belgian fans are vehemently opposed to the playoff system.

On the final match day, Genk held on to the draw versus Standard Liège that clinched the title. They got the goal that won the crown in the 77th minute, on a header by Nigerian-born Kennedy Nwanganga (who had been a substitution), on a cross from Hungarian international Dániel Tőzsér.
From the 6 Pointer blog, from 18 May, 2011, by mayerski5150, ‘KRC Genk – Champions of Belgium‘.
Manager Francky Vercauteren won the title for Genk, but has since moved on, to money and irrelevance in the UAE, with Al-Jazira S&CC. Genk’s current manager is Mario Been, the former Feyenoord MF and manager.

KRC Genk, reigning Belgian champions…
photo credits,,

Genk are from Genk, Limburg, Flanders, which has a city population of only around 62,000 {2010 figure} [note: that figure is probably misleading, as it does not include the metro-area of the city]. Genk are a relatively new club. KRC Genk were formed in 1988, as the result of a merger between KFC Winterslag and Waterschei Thor. Keeping Winterslag’s position, Genk debuted in the top flight in 1988-89, but were promptly relegated. Gaining promotion back to the top tier at the first try, Genk went on to win their first title in their 10th season, in 1998-99. Genk qualified for the 2002-03 UEFA Champions League, and though they finished last in their group, they managed 4 draws, 2 versus Real Madrid. Genk now are making their second UEFA Champions League Group Stage appearance, and have a draw (to Valencia) and a loss (to Bayer Leverkusen) under their belt, and will play in West London versus Chelsea on 19th October. Last season, Genk’s successful title run saw them draw 20,692 per game (up 5.5% from 09/10) at their 24,956-capacity Cristal Arena.

Genk are one of four clubs in Belgiun that have solid fan bases and can regularly draw over 20,000 – the other 3 being RSC Anderlecht, Club Brugge, and Standard Liège…
RSC Anderlecht…
photo credits – Dirk Grosemans,,

Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht is the largest club from the Belgian capital and largest city, Brussels. [The only other club from Brussels with recent top flight history is FC Brussels, who drew 5,219 per game in 2007-08 when they were relegated to the Belgian Second Division, and only draw around 1,100 per game these days. So Brussels is sort of like Paris, France in that it is the biggest city in the country, but the vast majority of it's citizens have no interest in supporting a top flight football club]. Brussels has a metro-area population of around 1.83 million. Last season Anderlecht finished in 3rd place and drew 22,636 per game, and in recent years they have been able to draw up to 24,500 or so to their Constant Vanden Stockstadion, which has a capacity of 28,063. Anderlecht is Belgium’s most-titled club, with 30 titles (last in 2009-10). Those 30 titles were all won from 1946 onwards, so Anderlecht’s title-frequency is even higher than one might imagine. In the first decade of the 2000s, Anderlecht were champions 5 times. Anderlecht has a predominantly Flemish fan base, and certainly enjoy a significantly larger amount of support from outside the Brussels-Capital region than from within it (like maybe 75-80% from outside of Brussels). Anderlecht play in white kits with mauve (or purple) trim.

Club Brugge…
photo credits –’s eye satellite view,

Club Brugge KV have the second-most Belgian titles, 13, with their last title in 2005-06. Brugge are from Bruges, whose historic city center, full of intact medieval architecture, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Bruges’ population is around 116,000 [again, this does not include metro-area population]. Brugge wear jerseys similar to Inter – black and blue vertical stripes, but the red in Club Brugge’s badge sets their look apart from the Italian giants. Brugge have a stadium-share with Cercle Brugge at the Jan Breydal Stadium, which is city-owned and has a capacity of 29,042. Brugge drew 23,157 in 2010-11, and finished in 4th place. In good seasons, they can draw 26 K. [Cercle Brugge have a much smaller fan base, and drew 7,488 per game last season.]

Standard Liège…
photo credits –,
Standard Liège (Royal Standard de Liège), are the biggest club in the French-speaking part of Belgium. Liège is the industrial center of Wallonia, and is a steel city {see this map that shows coal regions and metal processing centers in Belgium}. Les Rouches (the Reds) are called that, and not the linguistically-correct les Rouges, because of the effect of the Walloon accent. Standard Liège have won 10 Belgian titles, most recently in 2007-08 and 2008-09. But before that, Standard Liège had a 25-year title drought (having had won the 1982-83 title). The club drew best in Belgium last season, pulling in 25,125 per game to their Stade Maurice Dufrasne. Standard Liège had a decent European run in 2009-10, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, finishing third in their group, and then moving over to the 09/10 Europa League Knockout Round, where they made it to the Quarterfinals, first beating Roma, then Panathinaikos. They are currently, along with Anderlecht and Club Brugge, in the 2011-12 Europa League Group Stage.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘Belgian Pro League‘. Thanks to, for attendance data.

WordPress database error: [Table 'bil072291136157.wp_comments' doesn't exist]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = '1' AND comment_post_ID = 14145 ORDER BY comment_date_gmt ASC


No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress