Tonight there will be an end to the first part of our national competition. The clubs can then fully start their transfer homework, but the Pro League – the umbrella body – also faces an exam. There is a vacancy after the departure of Peter Croonen as chairman. How does former Pro League president Ivan De Witte estimate that search?
Ivan De Witte (74) knows what the position entails. The current chairman of AA Gent was appointed in 2007 as chairman of the association of the professional clubs and carried out that package of duties for 5 years.
After the departure of Peter Croonen, De Witte’s name was again cited as a successor. Does that stroke his ego?
“I’ve already done it once and I think it’s enough,” laughed De Witte yesterday after the 0-0 of his Ghent at Union.
“I saw my name appear to my great surprise, but above all we have to look for a strong chairman and a strong board.”
“The football association and the Pro League need leadership. I think that is lacking. There are many clubs that form coalitions and do not go for the highest good.”
If we find someone outside of football who has the qualities to do that, I would be in favour. If not, let’s take the best person in the league.
Should an independent candidate be knocked on, someone with no ties to a club? “That is a difficult discussion”, De Witte kicks in an open door.
“If we find someone outside of football who has the qualities to do that, I’d be in favor. If not, let’s take the best person in the league.”
“Who that is? I’m not making any statements about that. I’ve been doing it for 5 years and times were different, but there has to be someone within our group who can lead with neutrality and leadership.”
Peter Croonen resigned last week.
Reinforcement for AA Gent? “Financially not beyond our borders”
Ivan De Witte also reflected on the first half of his AA Gent. After a first part that “was really not good”, AA Gent stands among the people.
“I am also happy that we are the only team still in Europe, the cup and the competition, but it is only now beginning.”
Ghent is still fighting on 3 fronts. Is reinforcement needed? “We are working on it, but covid is a financial damper. You have to lead a club well sportingly, but also financially.”
“What’s the use of taking risks in the sporting field that later break you up financially? As long as I am chairman, we will not do that. We see options, but financially we do not go beyond our limits.”