After weeks of speculation, Kortrijk were finally sold by Vincent Tan. The Cardiff owner has wanted to sell the club for a while, and in the end it was the Kaminski Group that acquired the Kerels. Everton had been the club they originally wanted to purchase during 2022, but they were unable to acquire the Merseyside giants. Instead, they have ended up with a Kortrijk side that is in desperate need of investment and organisation.
Tan’s sale, or lack thereof, has meant that the players returned to training without a head coach. Bernd Storck was popular amongst the fans as he helped keep the side up during the 2022/2023 season, with he himself wanting to return. However, he did not get the confirmation he needed and both the club and German parted ways. Perhaps there is a chance he will now reconsider and return to the club, given that there is new ownership.
On the pitch, the squad needs improving. They have already lost their best central defender in Tsuyoshi Watanabe, who has departed for Gent. They are likely to lose Faiz Selemani, with the Comoros international stating that he would look to leave in the summer. In fairness to the winger, he decided to stay at the club in January to help them avoid relegation. He ended as the sides top scorer and top assist provider. Another key player in midfield is also attracting plenty of interest. Algerian international Abdelkahar Kadri is a hot prospect and one that a number of top Belgian clubs, such as Club Brugge, are interested in signing. Losing Kadri alongside Selemani and Watanabe would be a big concern for Kortrijk fans.
Therefore, the Kaminski group can show that their words are backed up by actions. Fans will be concerned that, with their intention to sign a high profile club like Everton, the group may now just focus on purchasing the next club to form a multi-club group, rather than focus on putting the right things in place at Kortrijk.
They claim to want to invest in the academy, but first of all they need to focus on the first team. Bringing in someone to make footballing decisions should be the first step, given that the Kaminski group do not have experience of running a club yet. This person should then be responsible for bringing in a new head coach and beginning to recruit a squad that can compete in the Belgian Pro League.
Kortrijk are well and truly in the balance at the moment. It feels like, from the outside, they are a poor summer away from being one of the favourites for relegation. The group should look across to Oostende and Pacific Media Group’s ownership of that club to learn lessons of what not to do. The side spread themselves too much across multiple clubs, nearly all of whmo ended up being relegated from their respective divisions. Whether they can or not, remains to be seen. Kortrijk fans will be hoping that better times are coming after a poor 2022/2023 season.