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History of Standard de Liège

RSCLOn the first day of school in September 1898, the pupils of Collège Saint-Servais of Liège start a football club, which the call Standard of Liège in reference to Standard A.C. of Paris.

Standard (whose official name is Royal Standard Club of Liège) is based in Cointe and Grivegnée, before settling for good in 1909 in Sclessin, an industrial area of Liège. At the beginning, Standard joins the Belgian first league in 1909, before going back to minor leagues a few years later. The Club gets back to first league in 1921 and will never leave it. In 1954 Standard wins is first trophy, the Belgium Cup, after many years of fighting against possible relegations to minor divisions (in the meantime the club still earns a few good results). Four years later, in 1958, Standard wins its first Belgium Championship, and will be champion again in 1961 and 1963. The club is now part of the most important Belgian clubs, and even becomes the first Belgian club to play in semi-finals of the Champion Clubs’ Cup. Those good European results give a brand new national dimension to the club and help attract more and more fans from all over Belgium. There are today fan clubs of Standard everywhere in Belgium, and 30% of the fans are from Flanders.

Late in the 60’s, Standard is the leader of the Belgian championship and wins it three times in a row in 1969, 1970 and 1971. The club suffers then the lost of a bunch of its best players and enters a new phase of reconstruction. The early 80’s are then one of the most glorious periods of Standard, but will also see some of its darkest moments. The club wins two Belgium championships in 1982 and 1983 and gets to the finals of the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1982, which are unfairly won 2-1 by Barcelona.

Schlessin oldThose victories are ruined when the Standard-Waterschei case is revealed in 1984: a few days before the game against Barcelona, in order to guarantee its victory in the Belgian championship, and moreover to avoid any last minute injuries, the club had asked the very weak team of Thor Waterschei for their players to ease it up during the game. In compensation the Standard players gave their game bonuses to the Waterschei players. Many players were involved in the scandal, for instance Eric Gerets (the famous team captain at that time), as well as the manager, Raymond Goethals. The latter even left Belgium for Portugal in order to avoid a suspension. Following the scandal, many players of Standard are suspended or leave the club. It will take many years to the club to recover, and 25 years before it wins again the Belgium Championship on the 20th of April 2008. The club is champion again the next year, on the 24th of May 2009, after a home-and-away game against Anderlecht.

Standard wins its last trophy in 2011, the Belgium Cup, before being bought on 23th of June 2011 by Roland Duchatelet, a famous but football-simpleton businessman. The man owns 100% of the club’s shares and has a sure taste for unpopular club decisions, only motivated by a strong greed for money.

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