Union threatens to take Mazzu to court

Union Sint-Gillis is preparing legal action against its trainer Felice Mazzu. Anderlecht appointed the 56-year-old Henegouwer on Tuesday without agreement with his current employer.

What should have been a historic day for Anderlecht – never before appointed a Walloon as head coach – and for Felice Mazzu himself – the son of Italian guest workers had long dreamed of training the record champion of Belgium – turned into a mud fight on Tuesday. Union reacted in a press release ‘stunned’ about the behavior of his coach and of Anderlecht. It said it is “investigating the legal consequences it gives to this case.” The Purple & White reaction was not long in coming. Anderlecht said they were ‘surprised and disappointed’ about Union’s communication. “Anderlecht and Felice Mazzu regret that Union is bringing this negotiation to the public forum, but remain willing to reach a mutual agreement.”

breach of trust

The question is whether a mutual agreement will be reached soon. For Union there is a breach of confidence, now that Anderlecht has unilaterally communicated the appointment of Felice Mazzu through its channels. The vice-champion was aware of the negotiations, but was counting on a severance payment. Anderlecht does not seem to intend to pay that.

As a result, Mazzu is currently still an employee of Union and has to complete his notice period. The coach will be taking a vacation in the next few weeks, but has yet to officially request it from Union. The yellow-blue club is currently looking at its legal options. When the training sessions at Anderlecht start again – the players must report back on June 20, the first field training is scheduled for June 22 – Mazzu will still be on notice. If at that time he wishes to perform for a new employer, he will have no choice but to pay a severance payment.


The board and management of Union will meet with its lawyers on Wednesday to review the legal options. It could consider a bullying measure and not grant Mazzu’s vacation. In that case, the Italo-Belgian still has to perform a few tasks within the club. More likely, Union opts for a procedure through the labor court against Mazzu. The assistants that Mazzu wants to take to West Brussels also risk a similar procedure.

It is not the first time Union has taken such steps. The club did the same when Faiz Selemani moved to KV Kortrijk. The French-Comorian attacker unilaterally canceled his contract with the then second division team in the summer of 2019 to play football in the Jupiler Pro League. More than a year later, the judgment of the labor court followed. Union was successful and Selemani had to pay damages.

The ‘transfer’ of Mazzu risks to sour relations between the two Brussels clubs. At Union it can be heard that Mazzu is being used by Anderlecht. The Purple & White club is not legally at risk in the event of a possible conflict between Mazzu and Union. Anderlecht emphasizes that it tries to reconcile itself and will continue to do so.

The tug-of-war over the newly elected ‘Manager of the Year’ comes at a time when professional football strives for reconciliation. Partly under the impulse of Anderlecht chairman Wouter Vandenhaute, Lorin Parys, the new CEO of the Pro League, is trying to get a new plan for a league reform approved on Thursday. Union CEO Philippe Bormans belongs to the board of directors of the Pro League and is an important voice to guide the discussion.

On Tuesday, the smaller clubs of the Jupiler Pro League emailed an alternative proposal to Lorin Parys. In it, they ask that a vote be taken on Thursday about a competition formula with eighteen teams without play-offs, with two descenders and a barragist. The proposal was signed by Lommel, Eupen, Zulte-Waregem, RWDM, Sint-Truiden, OH Leuven, KV Kortrijk, Cercle Brugge, Mouscron, Waasland-Beveren, KV Mechelen, KV Oostende, Westerlo, Deinze, Virton, Seraing and Beerschot. Most of those clubs regret that their proposal was not studied and accuse Lorin Parys of driving for the big clubs. According to Parys’ proposal, the current formula with eighteen clubs would gradually be phased out to a format with fourteen first division and eighteen second division teams, while retaining play-offs.



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