Excelsior MouscronIt’s an unhappy holiday season for the Belgian League, or at least for (former) top-flight club R.E. Mouscron. With debts mounting over 800,000 euros and long periods of unpaid wages, the players refused to show up for the third straight game, resulting in an automatic 5-0 defeat, and more importantly their expulsion from The Belgian Pro League. Before the year is done, more than 100 staff members will be freed from their contracts and become free agents, effectively dismantling the club. There is a possibility that Mouscron can start anew from the Third Division, but all their league games this season will be annulled.

Mouscron’s history dates back to 1922, although the current club was officially registered in 1964 after a merger between Stade Mouscron and A.R.A Mouscron in 1964. They had played in the top flight since 1996, and recent success included two cup finals in 2002 and 2006.

R. E. Mouscron were almost saved by Manchester City who looked to buy them for £3million and use them as a feeder club, but sadly the deal never went through. This sort of thing is never pleasant for a football fan, regardless of who you support, because you can feel for the club’s fans. But it just goes to show the state of the modern game. Be it from a much lesser league, it’s a bit ridiculous that one club can only cost three million pounds and go bankrupt because of debts, while for another (that until recently was bouncing up and down the divisions), that sort of money is pretty much spent on weekly wages.

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