You are young and you need something. Then Cercle Brugge is the place to be. Alexander Vantighem joined the association three years ago as a young lawyer. A career job, as his predecessor is now with Anderlecht and Vantageme himself is now the big boss at Bruges, succeeding Ben Lambrecht, who left for Monaco.
Ventigme comes from Ledigem, but now lives in Ghent. “I studied in Ghent and my wife comes from Sint-Denij-Westrum.” He used to play football at Morsley, but it was only as a young lawyer that he gained entry into the first division. Not on the field, but in the boardroom, because through a law firm in Brussels where he worked, he was given a seat on the board as his representative at the request of KV Kortrijk owner Tann. he liked that and when Cercle was looking for a legal officerVantighem said. “Mark VanMele was still the CEO at the time and I knew he wouldn’t be around for another fifteen years.” Although Vanmalee left earlier than expected, the time had not yet come to become Bigg Boss. “Although I was already ambitious and wanted it, nothing was asked of me at that time.”
Ben Lambrecht, the former CEO of Coca-Cola, came, but he too abruptly left for Monaco late last year. It then took five months before a decision was made in the principality and after some negotiation Ventighem was given preference over Pascal Plateau, an ex-Coca-Cola and still financial director at Cercle.
After three weeks, Vantaghem already has a good idea of what he wants to accomplish and what his priorities are. He himself has three goals. “First of all, I want to capitalize on this peak season and increase revenue by bringing more people to the stadium and getting more sponsorships. We must reduce annual losses and make Cercle more self-sufficient. And that’s my second point: we make sure we get the right price for the players we sell. And third, there’s the stadium file and the construction of a new training complex.
Vantighem tries to be clear right away. “That new stadium will not happen immediately, but we will make it completely separate from Club Brugge. It was once separate, but currently the relationship with the city is very good and we want to keep it that way. If Club Brugge Sooner or later we get the green light, so we don’t want to jump out of the blue and write our story.
The new training complex could be built before long and should be located in Gulden Kamer in Sint-Cruis, where Circle Ladies also play. A solution has to be found for the use of the common room. Cercle has already reached an agreement with the city of Bruges.
So things are progressing and Ventighem would like to see that happen. “I have been here for three years and season by season we are making progress. In my first season there were hardly any players in preparation and look where we are now. We finished sixth and only one player is out of contract. Shouldn’t happen suddenly, but we want to achieve it year after year.”
The new CEO is also quick to underscore that Cercle is not for sale. “When those rumors were launched, I was just in Monaco and there I was assured that there was no question of a possible sale, on the contrary. The owner also wants to invest in our new training complex. I’ve got a wife and two daughters, did you really think I’d be joining here if Cercle was sold?”