Charlton owner Duchâtelet finds "perfect solution" for giants Standard

Football club Standard de Liège has been sold by the Belgian businessman Roland Duchâtelet (69). Duchâtelet, who owns a number of other teams including Charlton, sold his stake in the club to Bruno Venanzi (45), the deputy chairman. "I was looking for a solution and I found the perfect one", Duchâtelet told reporters. "I know Standard is in good hands."
Bruno Venanzi (l) and Roland Duchâtelet.

Standard is one of Belgium's major football clubs. The "Reds" as the team is dubbed, are part of the G5, the big 5 in Belgian football: Anderlecht, Club Brugge, champions AA Gent, KRC Genk and Standard.

Duchâtelet acquired the club in June 2011 when he bought the shares for 41 million euros. The relation with the fans was never a happy one though. Duchâtelet was under fire various times for his particular choices of new players and coaches. It was a public secret that Duchâtelet had had enough and that he wanted to get rid of Standard.

"A normal human being can enjoy a good mental and physical health until he is 75. This means I have some 350 weeks to go. (...) Life quality and happiness are key to me. The situation was a complicated one as the fans don't like me. So I looked for a proper solution. I found one with Bruno Venanzi", Duchâtelet told a press conference. He next got emotional. "Even though this means that I am leaving the club that I love. But it's a comfort to know the club is in good hands."

Duchâtelet started his Belgian empire with Sint-Truiden, a club he had to leave when acquiring Standard. His wife is now officially in charge of Sint-Truiden, that just promoted to the top flight. It has been announced how much Venanzi paid for Standard, but Duchâtelet is believed to have made a nice profit, also after selling some players for big money.

Germany, England, Spain etc.

Roland Duchâtelet owns other clubs abroad: Charlton Athletic FC in England, Carl-Zeiss Jena (Germany), Ujpest FC (Hungary) and AD Alcorcón (Spain). Duchâtelet founded his own political party or 'movement' as he prefers to call it, Vivant, in 1995. This movement later joined the Flemish liberals of Open VLD. He was a Senator between 2007 and 2010.