Het Nieuwsblad have revealed that Burnley were in full control of Kortrijk’s transfer activity this summer. The paper has shown that all of the decisions regarding new transfers for the Belgian side had to be approved by the Premier League side, even though the formal takeover had not taken place. Now, it appears that there will not be a takeover of the club by the Lancashire side, with Kortrijk left with a squad of players that was decided elsewhere.
For example, the club had agreed to sign Belgian defender Robbe Decostere from Cercle Brugge. However, Burnley made the club pull the plug on the deal even though medical tests had been conducted and approved. Decostere then joined Zulte Waregem in the second tier of Belgian football instead. Instead the side ended up with Ryan Alebiosu from Arsenal, as well as Marco Kana from Vincent Kompany’s former side Anderlecht.
HNB also revealed that sporting director Rik Foulon had to provide Burnley with his list of transfer targets. Nearly all of these were assessed negatively, with a different solution found by the Premier League side. Most of the time it ended up with a player based in England. Alexander Mighten of Nottigham Forrest and Craig Cathcart, formerly of Watford at the time, were two names that resulted from this process. Cathcart sums up the situation perfectly, as in many ways his involvement in Kortrijk went the same way as Burnley’s. Despite signing a contract, the defender then retired from football 15 days later.
Now, Kortrijk are left in a mess. Ed Still has been sacked after a winless run of eight games, with the club bottom of the league with two points. For the fans, this is a painful reminder that the club remains in the hands of Vincent Tan, who has no interest in getting involved in anything but selling it on to someone else. The immediate future looks pretty bleak.