Club Brugge won the League of Hearts title. A day before the end of the competition, CEO Philip Bormans looks back at the season. In an intense chat with Spurza, he also spoke about European ambitions, the FA transfer runner-up, and sister club Brighton Hove and Abionnell.
It ends in second place. How could things turn out differently for the Federation?
Philipp Bormanns (Fefa manager): “We swore once for sure after our duels against Club Brugge. We deserved the title, but Club Brugge too.”
“This is a sport, it is a part of it. The club did a little better in time. We would have won the title in another country, but we wouldn’t have complained about that.”
“He hated our players, who quickly turned around and won the match in Anderlecht. That was enough for us.”
“We also know that in a few years it will only be about the champ, but let’s not forget the track we covered. It’s a shame we lost first place, we are of course proud.”
The club did a little better in time. We would have won the title in another country, but we wouldn’t have complained about that.
The title really lived here, right?
Philip Bormans: “Of course. And that went step by step. From holding, for a place in the top eight, during the Champions Qualifiers, to the national title.”
“In sports there are winners and losers. We consider ourselves winners. Not only with the match delivery, but also for our fans and our club.”
Syndicate Director Philip Bormans: “We also consider ourselves winners.”
What are the lessons that the union draws from the season?
Philip Boormans: “We gave the championship color and that was our goal. We didn’t want to serve a poor season. We wanted to win and excel. We made it.”
“It has also given us hope for the smaller clubs and their supporters. It is not necessary that only the big clubs play for trophies.”
Undav will move to Brighton after this season. Are you afraid of leaving the union?
Philip Boormans: “There is a lot of interest in our players. It makes sense and they deserve it. They have taken the step towards union, we have made the promise that we will grow together.”
“In the winter break, the players promised to finish the season with Union. Now we will look at it case by case.”
“On the one hand, we have an extra balance with our ticket for the preliminary rounds of the Champions League. On the other hand, we will talk if we get a proposal that is interesting to all parties.”
With our Champions League preliminaries ticket, we have extra credit.
What if more major players leave?
Philip Bormans: “Then we’ll try to replace them in a dignified way. We believe in Scouts and we’ll once again bring in the same hungry boys.”
“It’s not that we’re suddenly going to start working with a top 5 budget. And the union wants to keep taking it step by step, and so is the budget.”
“This year we worked with the second smallest budget in Belgium. We will try to consolidate that. European income will certainly help us with that, but for our players we will continue to work with the bonus system.”
“That’s why we are always looking for players who believe in themselves and the project.”
Casper Nielsen is on many wishlists.
Phyllis Matsu made Union for the highest score and second place. Will the club upgrade his contract?
Philip Bormans: “He’s on an indefinite contract. Like every year, we sit down after the season is over.”
“We intend to continue the cooperation. Felice Matsu will also face new challenges in the federation. European football, for example. We will talk to each other in the coming days.”
“Then we are not only talking about the financial side of things, but also about the conditions in which Phyllis can coach the team.”
“We intend to continue our cooperation with Phyllis. He will also face new challenges at Union.”
Thanks to the second place, Al-Ittihad plays the preliminary rounds of the Champions League. How ambitious is the European Union?
Philip Bormans: “It won’t be easy to survive the playoffs, but as usual we’ll take our chance.”
“It will be a great experience, also for our players, who hardly have any European experience.”
We’ll take our chance, as usual.
She will play a European role in Leuven and Hessel. How far are the plans for the new stadium?
Philipp Bormans: “We definitely want to remain a popular club in Brussels. That’s why we’re looking so close to our current stadium.”
“We have had positive conversations with the Brussels region and with the municipality of Forest. We hope to be able to break the news in a few weeks.”
“We want to fully finance the project ourselves, because the new stadium is very important for the future of the club. And perhaps even more important than the league title.”
Philip Bormans: “The new stadium is very important to the future of the club, perhaps even more important than the league title.”
The location along the Ring Road in Forrest is your favourite.
Philip Bormans: “Yes, this is one of the potential locations and possibly the location for us. The location is not too far from Duden Park which is also correct in terms of navigation.”
“The location is not very big, but we also don’t feel the need for a stadium with a capacity of 30,000. We want a stadium that looks a lot like the current one: a stadium with parking spaces and a lot of atmosphere.”
We want a stadium that is very similar to the current one: a stadium with parking spaces and a lot of atmosphere.
Club Brugge president, Bart Verheig, is calling you Brighton. How far should a Premier League club fall into milk?
Philip Bormans: “It’s true that we work together with the same major shareholder (Tony Bloom, editor). We’ve borrowed two players – who haven’t played much before – and we’ve sold Deniz Ondev to Brighton.”
“Furthermore, there are quite a few similarities between Union and Brighton. We are working our way up with the second smallest budget in our competition.”
“We want to maintain our uniqueness and keep an eye on that too. Football isn’t about the owners, it’s about what happens on and off the pitch.”
Britain’s Tony Bloom is the main shareholder in Union.
What goal will you start with next season?
Philip Bormans: “This is difficult. We will be actively working on different fronts and that will be an adjustment.”
“The federation will have to expand the core, because we will play almost 30 games before that long winter break with the World Cup.”
“We want to bring the fun and attractiveness of football again.”
We want to bring the fun and cuteness of football back.
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