Koninklijke Beerschot Antwerpen Club (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkoːnɪŋkləkə ˈbeːrsxɔt ˈɑntʋɛrpə(n) ˈklɵp]), simply known as Beerschot AC [ˈbeːrsxɔt aːˈseː], was a Belgian football club based in southern Antwerp. Beerschot played in the Belgian Pro League from 1999–2000 (as Germinal Beerschot) until 2012–13, when they were relegated not only through their league position, but also lost their professional license through financial issues, being officially declared bankrupt on 21 May 2013 – one week after the season had ended.
|Full name||Koninklijke Beerschot Antwerpen Club|
|Nickname(s)||De Mannekes, De Ratten|
|Founded||1920 (Germinal Ekeren)|
1999 (merger; as Germinal Beerschot)
|Ground||Olympisch Stadion, Antwerp|
The club was established in 1999 as the result of the merger between K Beerschot VAC and KFC Germinal Ekeren, from which they took over the matricule number and history. Prior to the merger, Germinal Ekeren had been a first division club for 10 years, while 7 times Belgian champion Beerschot was struggling with financial problems in the third division. The club won 2 Belgian Cups, one as Germinal Ekeren in 1997, the other as Germinal Beerschot in 2005. Their best league ranking was a 3rd place in 1995–96 and in 1997–98.
Following the merger in 1999, the club moved from the Veltwijckstadion in the municipality of Ekeren to the Olympisch Stadion in the Kiel neighbourhood in Antwerp. Their outfits mixed the yellow and red of Germinal Ekeren with the purple of Beerschot. Their biggest rival is Royal Antwerp FC. On 17 May 2011, the club changed its name again to Koninklijke Beerschot Antwerpse Club or Beerschot AC. The name change was the result of an internal struggle which split the board of directors which ended with the former Germinal Ekeren board members vacating their position, giving a free path to remove the mention of Germinal in the team's name by the new directors as part of a business plan to restore the former K Beerschot VAC in its former glory. In addition, the club set its motto to the Latin phrase 'Tene Quod Bene', which translates as 'keep what is good', again referring to the fact that only the "Beerschot" part was kept. After being relegated in 2012–13, the club went bankrupt at the end of the season, was removed from competition altogether and folded shortly afterwards.
In June 2013 K.FC.O.Wilrijk unofficially integrated Beerschot AC’s identity into theirs to become FCO Beerschot Wilrijk, moving to Beerschot AC’s vacated stadium. This new club started in the first division of the Belgian Provincial leagues.
In 1920 F.C. Germinal Ekeren was founded in the town of Ekeren, a northern suburb of Antwerp. Several years earlier, in 1899, Beerschot was founded at Het Kiel, a southern outskirt of Antwerp, where the 1920 Olympics had been held. In 1971 Germinal Ekeren added the prefix Koninklijk to their name (meaning Royal in Dutch). The team reached the top division in Belgian football in 1989 and finished 13th. They achieved their highest league position of third in 1996 and 1998 and subsequently qualified for the UEFA Cup. However, in 1999, due to the low attendance of supporters and limited expansion possibilities in Ekeren, the club merged with Beerschot who were then playing in the 3rd division and themselves had severe financial problems.
The new team, K.F.C. Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen kept the matricule n°3530 of Ekeren to keep their place in the first division, but retained the stadium of Beerschot, rebuilding it in the process. By keeping the matricule of Ekeren, the honours of Beerschot were considered to be distinct and separate from the new team and the club finally dropped the name Antwerpen in 2003. In 2004 further financial difficulties were experienced and Marc Brys, a Belgian football coach was brought in. He led the team to victory in the Belgian Cup that year, and in doing so secured a place in UEFA Cup for his side. After only 7 matches in the Jupiler League 2005-06 season, he was fired due to bad results (4 points from 21 and a 3–0 defeat against the 18th placed team). The current coach is Glen De Boeck after the previous coach Jos Daerden left to become an assistant coach at Dutch club Twente.
May 2013, Naamloze vennootschap Beerschot announced it will be liquidated. After having failed to present a financial plan to the Royal Belgian Football Association, the club had lost its license to play in the 1st division. Unable to attract enough financial means to continue playing in a lower division they decided upon liquidation. Initially it was unclear what would happen to the matricule or players, but it became clear on 21 May 2013 that the club dissolved, meaning the matricule was lost and the players free to look for a new club.
Late May 2013 the "entourage" and fans of Beerschot started negotiations with FCO.Wilrijk and Sportkring Sint-Niklaas in the hope of a "merge" of Beerschot with one of them. In June 2013 when K.FC.O.Wilrijk its name into F.C.O. Beerschot-Wilrijk this "merge" took place. The new club started in the first division of the Belgian Provincial leagues.
The matricule number 3530 played their first European game as KFC Germinal Ekeren in the 1991–92 season against Celtic F.C. of Scotland (losing 2–0 away and drawing 1–1 at home). They qualified for the UEFA Cup in that year following a 5th-place finish in the championship. They then had to wait until 1995 and a 6th-place finish to qualify for their next European competition (Intertoto Cup). Unfortunately by finishing 2nd in the first round of Group 3 behind FC Aarau of Switzerland, KFC did not qualify for the second round. In 1996–97 they qualified for the UEFA Cup after finishing 3rd in the league. The club was defeated by Grazer AK in the first round.
In 1997–98 they played the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup after a Belgian Cup win. They lost in the second round at the hands of VfB Stuttgart after a win against FK Crvena Zvezda. The next season, they reached the UEFA Cup first preliminary round after a 3rd place, but lost in the second preliminary round against Swiss team Servette FC. In the 2008 Intertoto Cup, they met Neftchi Baku of Azerbaijan in the second round, drawing 1–1 at home but losing 0–1 away to be eliminated from the competition.
- As of December 2008.
|Cup Winners' Cup||1||4||2||1||1||8||9|
|1991–92||UEFA Cup||1R||Celtic F.C.||1–1||0–2|
|1995||UEFA Intertoto Cup||Group 3||FC Aarau||3–3|
|1996–97||UEFA Cup||1R||Grazer AK||3–1||0–2|
|1997–98||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1R||Crvena Zvezda||3–2||1–1|
|1998–99||UEFA Cup||1QR||FK Sarajevo||4–1||0–0|
|2005–06||UEFA Cup||1R||Olympique Marseille||0–0||0–0 (1–4 pen.)|
|2008||UEFA Intertoto Cup||2R||Neftchi Baku||1–1||0–1|
- "Don't say Germinal Beerschot but Koninklijke Beerschot AC" (in Dutch). sporza.be. 20 May 2011.
- (in Dutch) Beerschot verandert in KFCO Beerschot-Wilrijk en start in eerste provinciale, Het Laatste Nieuws (31 May 2013)
(in Dutch) Beerschot leeft voort in KFCO Beerschot-Wilrijk Archived 8 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Sporza (31 May 2013)
- "Beerschot in vereffening". Het Laatste Nieuws. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Beerschot bankrupt, De Wever looks for solution". sporza.be. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.