October 18, 2008

Belgium: Clubs in the 2008-’09 First Division.

Filed under: Belgium — admin @ 8:24 am


The Belgian First Division was established in 1895.  Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht, of Brussels,  have the most titles, 29 (the last in 2007).  Club Brugge has 13 titles (the last in 2005).  Reigning champions are Standard Liege;  they have 9 titles.   All three of these clubs drew between 26,400 to 24,900 per game last season.  Another club also drew near this range: Racing Genk, with a 23,200 average.  This club was formed in 1988,  from the merger of two Belgian Limburg-based clubs.  Genk has won 2 titles,  (the last in 2002).  Two other clubs currently in the league have been champions:  KV Mechelen, who only draw around 6,000 per game,  have 4 titles (the last in 1989);  Cercle Brugge have 2 titles (but the last was in 1930).  They drew around 10,000 per game last season.  Strangely, Belgium’s second largest city,  Antwerp,  does not seem to have much of a footballing culture, as there is only one club in the Belgian top tier from there,  Germinal Beerschot,  and they draw only around 9,600 per game.  [For a list of Belgium's largest cities,  {Click here}.]

The Belgian First Division is currently undergoing a contraction,  from 18 to 16 clubs.  This is a wise move,  because when a Western European First Division league is promoting a club which can’t even draw 1,000 fans per game (AFC Tubize),  that league is too big.

Belgium is currently ranked #13 in Europe by UEFA {see this}.

The most fundamental aspect of Belgium as a nation is it’s dual langauges and ethnicities.  The north is Flemish, the south is French-speaking Walloon.  Here is Wikipedia’s page on the north region,  Flanders {Click here}.   Here is the page on the south region of Belgium,  Wallonia  {Click here}.

Club Brugge and Standard Liege are both in the UEFA CupClub Brugge are in Group G  {see this};  they travel to Norway to play Rosenborg on Thursday, 23rd October.  Standard Liege, who are the largest club from the Walloon half of the country,  defeated the English club Everton to qualify for the UEFA Cup.  They are in Group C  {see this},  but do not play in the first matchday.  They will host the Spanish club Sevilla on Thursday, 6th November.

Belgian First Division table, {Click here}.

Thanks to the EFS site for the attendance figures {Click here}.

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