R.A.E.C. Mons, or simply Mons, was a Belgian football club based in the Walloon city of Mons originally founded on 11 April 1910. Nicknamed "the Dragons" as a reference to the legend of the Ducasse de Mons, the club played in the 8,000-capacity Stade Charles Tondreau.
|Full name||Royal Albert Elizabeth Club de Mons|
|Nickname(s)||Les Dragons (The Dragons)|
L'Albert (The Albert)
|Founded||11 April 1910|
|Dissolved||25 April 2015|
|Ground||Stade Charles Tondreau, |
In 2015, the club dissolved after going bankrupt due to financial irregularities, with the matricule number 44 being deleted. The club merged with RUS Genly-Quévy 89 that same year and started playing as Royal Albert Quévy-Mons, renamed to Renaissance Mons 44 in 2020 and eventually back to R.A.E.C. Mons in 2021.
There were originally several association football clubs in Mons. Club Amateur Sportif was founded in 1905 as a member of the UBSSA (Union Belge des Sociétés de Sports Athlétiques), with the club colors being red and white. This club later changed its name to Cercle des Sport de Mons and settled on Avenue du Tir. Another club was Stade Montois with the colors blue and white. This club merged in May 1910 with Cercle des Sports de Mons, Nimy-Sportif and Olympique de Mons and continued as Olympique Mons. There was also Racing Club Mons. In 1913, Racing Club Mons merged with Olympic Mons.
In 1909, René Tondreau, Maurice Van Pel, Henri Lebailly and Fernand Courtois decided to form a new club. Following the example of Léopold Club de Bruxelles, they also wanted to take the name of the reigning Belgian monarch. The admission to the name Albert-Elisabeth Club de Mons, which referred to the marriage of Albert I of Belgium and Elisabeth of Bavaria, Queen of Belgium, was requested from King Albert I, and was officially given on 18 May 1910 by letter from the Royal Palace. The club became a member of the Royal Belgian Football Association (KBVB) on 17 June 1910 and received matricule number 44. In May 1910, the lease was signed for one hectare of land along Avenue du Tir, on the site of the current stadium, and on 25 September 1910, it was opened in front of 300 spectators. The new club played in the blue and white colours of the royal family until September 1920, which then became red and white, the colours of the city of Mons.
After World War I, in 1919, Mons appeared for the first time in Belgian Second Division, but suffered relegation again after two seasons. In 1923, AEC Mons and FC Baudoir merged. Eventually the name changed in 1934 to Royal Albert Elisabeth Club Mons or R.A.E.C. Mons. During the following decades, the club mainly competed in the second and third tiers of Belgian football. In 1988, the club Royale Union Jemappes-Flénu (matricule number 136) was merged into Mons. The RAEC name and matricule number were retained.
However, around the turn of the millennium, the club succeeded in making a rise through the divisions. In 2000, Mons finished at the top of their series in the Third Division, with as many points as Heusden-Zolder. The decisive play-off match between the two clubs ended 3–3, with Mons promoting back to the Second Division after winning 4–3 in the subsequent penalty shootout. In the Second Division, Mons immediately managed to qualify for the final play-off round in their first season, but eventually failed to promote again. The following season, 2001–02, was a major success. Mons qualified for the final play-off round again, won, and thus promoted to the Belgian top-tier First Division for the first time in club history in 2002. Mons relegated again in 2005, but bounced back after one season down.
Philippe Saint-Jean was hired as the new head coach for the 2008–09 season. He resigned after one match-day for medical reasons and was succeeded by Thierry Pister. In December 2008, Pister was fired after poor results and succeeded by youth coach Christophe Dessy, who was also immediately promoted to the role of manager. At the end of that season, they again relegated to the Second Division. Dessy stepped down and Rudi Cossey became head coach, until his resignation in November 2009. Successor Geert Broeckaert was later also replaced. Dutchman Dennis van Wijk took over and guided Mons to the First Division again in 2011 via the final play-off round. In February 2012, Van Wijk was dismissed again after he himself had announced that he did not want to renew his contract. Enzo Scifo was appointed as new head coach and guided the club to the semi-finals of the play-offs in the remaining games.
In the 2013–14 season, RAEC Mons was heading for relegation play-offs the entire season, and eventually finished last in the league table. In the subsequent play-offs, the club relegated to the Second Division again.
Bankruptcy and rebirthEdit
The club filed for bankruptcy on 16 February 2015, and played their final match on 25 April against Antwerp. Between 2015 and 2020, RUS Genly-Quévy 89 and the remaining parts of R.A.E.C. Mons had merged to form a new club, playing under the name "Royal Albert Quévy-Mons" with matricule 4194. On 23 June 2020, the club was renamed to Renaissance Mons 44, following an initiative from supporters. From the 2021–22 season on, the club hoped to reclaim the former matricule 44 and also reverted to the former name.
- Jules Henriet (1956–1959)
- Pieter Van Den Bosch (1960–1962)
- Pierre Hanon (1973–1975)
- Thierry Pister (30 June 2000 – 30 November 2001)
- Michel Wintacq (2002 – April 2002)
- Marc Grosjean (April 2002 – 31 August 2003)
- Sergio Brio (2003 – 5 October 2004)
- Michel Wintacq (interim) (5 October 2004 – 11 October 2004)
- Jos Daerden (11 October 2004 – 25 April 2005)
- Michel Wintacq (interim) (25 April 2005 – 6 June 2005)
- José Riga (6 June 2005 – 28 January 2008)
- Albert Cartier (28 January 2008 – 30 June 2008)
- Phillipe Saint-Jean (1 July 2008 – 21 August 2008)
- Thierry Pister (21 August 2008 – 4 December 2008)
- Rudi Cossey (Interim) (2008)
- Christophe Dessy (4 December 2008 – 30 June 2009)
- Rudi Cossey (Interim) (1 July 2009 – 23 November 2009)
- Geert Broeckaert (1 July 2009 – 24 January 2011)
- Dennis Van Wijk (25 January 2011 – 27 February 2012)
- Enzo Scifo (28 February 2012 – 26 September 2013)
- Čedomir Janevski (27 September 2013–2014)
- Didier Beugnies (2014–2015)
- Luysterborg, Peter (31 March 2015). "Bergen vindt geen overnemer en legt de boeken neer". Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch).
- Michel, François; Lacroix, Jacques; Ghislain, Eric; Serkijn, Johan (2010). RAEC MONS 1910 - 2010. UN SCIECLE D'HISTOIRE (in French). Asquillies: Magnad Editions. pp. 1–144.
- "RAEC Mons | Geschiedenis". www.raec-mons.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 11 March 2021.
- "Belgium round-up: Mons race to promotion | Inside UEFA". UEFA.com. 30 May 2002.
- "RAEC Mons: voetbal op grootmoeders wijze". De Morgen (in Dutch). 2 November 2002.
- "Philippe Saint-Jean entraîneur à Mons". RTBF Sport (in French). 6 June 2008.
- "Thierry Pister moet opstappen als coach van Bergen". Het Belang van Limburg (in Flemish). 4 December 2008.
- "Mons licencie Rudi Cossey". RTBF Sport (in French). 23 November 2009.
- "Mons se sépare de Geert Broeckaert". RTBF Sport (in French). 4 March 2014.
- "Vier degradaties, zes promoties: Van Wijk laveert altijd tussen 1A en 1B". Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch). 31 December 2019.
- "Van Wijk is een man als een andere - Voetbalbelgie.be". Voetbal België (in Flemish). 1 March 2012.
- "Enzo Scifo prend la tête de Mons". RTBF Sport (in French). 28 February 2012.
- "RAEC Mons komt goed weg na 'knipmes'-incident". Elfvoetbal.nl (in Dutch). 7 April 2014.
- Malice, Florent (23 June 2020). "Le RAEC Mons renaît de ses cendres : l'Albert retourne au Tondreau et veut récupérer son matricule !". Walfoot.be (in French).
- "RAEC Bergen uit de as herrezen: de Draken keren terug naar le Tondreau en vragen oude stamnummer op". Voetbalkrant.com (in Dutch). 23 June 2020.