Koninklijke Sportkring Beveren
: Royal Sport Ring of Beveren) is a Belgian football
club, from the town of Beveren
in East Flanders
. It is famous for its goalkeeping school that has produced such players as Jean-Marie Pfaff
, Filip De Wilde
, Geert De Vlieger
, Erwin Lemmens
and Tristan Peersman
, all of whom have played in the Belgium national football team
. Wilfried Van Moer
, a midfielder who also went on to represent Belgium, started his career at Beveren.
A club named Standaard Club Beveren was founded in 1921 and it merged later with F.C. Amical (English: F.C. Friendly) but the club folded in 1931. Three years later the footballers of Standaard Club decided to found a new club, which they named S.K. Beveren-Waes. It became a member of the Belgian Football Association
in 1935. Ten seasons after, the club changed its name to S.K. Beveren-Waas (Beveren is a town in the Waasland - Pays de Waes region). After 14 seasons in the Belgian Provincial leagues
, Beveren-Waas reached the fourth national level
in 1948, and the third division
In 1966, they reached the second division
for the first time, and , led by future national manager Guy Thijs
, were surprise winners of the league. Since then, it has been relegated from the top division
three times(1972, 1990 and 1996), but on each occasion was re-promoted at the first attempt. The club changed its name again, to K.S.K. Beveren, in 1978, and under this name enjoyed their greatest successes, being surprise champions in 1979 and 1984. In 1979 they beat Inter Milan
in the Cup Winners' Cup
, eventually being eliminated by FC Barcelona
in the semifinals.
In 2006 they were threatened with loss of their professional licence and subsequent relegation to the third division, but eventually won an appeal to preserve their status.
However, in 2007, the club ended last in the Jupiler League and was forced to go to the second division
For several years, the Beveren squad consisted mostly of players from Ivory Coast
- a policy often criticised in the Belgian media. The club's former manager, Jean-Marc Guillou
founded the youth academy of ASEC Mimosas
, and most of the Ivorian players have transferred from there, taking advantage of Belgium's relatively easy work permit regulations. Despite the critics, Beveren has delivered some great players their first experience in Europe. Gilles Yapi Yapo
, Yaya Toure
, Arthur Boka
and Emmanuel Eboué
are examples, all having Champions League experience.
Arsenal FC controversy
Between 2001 and 2006 the club had a co-operation agreement with Arsenal Football Club
. Several players were loaned between the teams and friendlies played. The agreement expired on 1st July 2006.
Subsequent to an investigation by BBC Television's Newsnight FIFA requested the English Football Association investigate the relationship between the two clubs.
In 2001 Belgian police concluded that a loan of over €1.5 million had been made by Arsenal F.C. to a company Goal which helped secure Beveren's financial position. Newsnight have alleged this may breach club ownership rules under FIFA regulations. The accusation is refuted by Arsenal who state that the payment was an interest free loan and has no effect on the administration of the club. The FA and FIFA cleared both clubs of any wrong doing.
Several players have been loaned between the two clubs or had trials. However only Emmanuel Eboué has transferred from Beveren to Arsenal, doing so in January 2005.
Notable former players
- As of March 5, 2006: