CEO resigns after Chelsea starlet captaincy farce

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A move to Antwerp, controversy over one of their young stars and, finally, the decision to hand Thorgan Hazard the captaincy has seen Zulte Waregem's CEO resign.

When Zulte Waregem finished second in last season’s Belgian Pro League ambition, and hope, has never been higher at the reasonably young club.

However after the home defeat to PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League third qualifying round second leg the club was under a cloud.

The club will now not play in the Champions League next season - and the manner of their 5-0 aggregate defeat sums up the general mood at the club in recent weeks.

When they defeated Kortrijk 1-0 last week, via a goal from former Arsenal starlet Olafur Skulason, it came amid a storm.

Before the game many of the impassioned Zulte fans made their feeling clear toward one very unpopular character in particular - the club CEO Patrick Decuyper.

There are several reasons why tensions have become frayed at Zulte in recent weeks.

There was the farce that saw Junior Malanda agree a free transfer to VfL Wolfsburg.

Then there were the apparent plans to move Zulte from Waregem to Antwerp - a full 100km away. Fans were rightly incensed at the clubs proposal to take over the infrastructure left behind by Beerschot AC - the last Antwerp team to play in the Pro League, before liquidation struck this summer.

But another story was certainly behind the recent controversy.

As most Chelsea fans will know Eden Hazard’s little brother Thorgan Hazard is currently on loan at the club. His time there has also been extremely fruitful - last term he earned a place in the Belgian national team for the first time with his excellent performances.

But the decision to appoint him captain for the upcoming season incensed fans.

As much as they appreciate and adore Hazard as a player one thing remains - he is not captain material.

First of all he is not even a Zulte player and at the tender age of 20 replacing Davy De Fauw was a cataclysmic error - an error decided by the board.

He held the captaincy for all of 24 hours before volunteering to hand it back to De Fauw. If you are looking for a comparison at Chelsea - it would be like Roman Abramovich taking the captaincy from John Terry and giving it to Kevin de Bruyne.

That seems to have been the final straw for Zulte fans and now, amid uproar, Decupyer has done the right thing - and tendered his resignation.

Now Hazard, Zulte and everyone involved with the club will hope to put all the recent controversies behind them - and march on to yet another excellent season.

image: © mikehamm

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