Sunday 29 March 2009

RC Schaerbeek/FC Kosova Schaerbeek; Brussels, Belgium

This is the Crossing Stadium in Brussels. It appears to be/have been home to both
RC Schaerbeek & FC Kosova Schaerbeek. I took these photos in January 2008, after being told it was worth a visit by a couple of regular posters on the Tony Kempster forum. At the time the stadium appeared to be closed down, but the pitch was marked out. Some of the history of it is mentioned on the superb 'Football Grounds of Brussels' Facebook page, run by Stephane Lievens, & I copy the details here:

"Current club : Racing Club Schaerbeek (3rd Provincial division)This big stadium located in the Parc Josaphat in Schaerbeek used to be the home of Crossing. The club was founded in 1913 in Ganshoren, in North-West Brussels. In 1959, they moved to Molenbeek, playing at the Sippelberg. In 1969 they were promoted to Division 1. This is when they merged with CS Schaerbeek to form Crossing Schaerbeek and play here. After 4 seasons in the top flight, they dropped down the divisions and moved to the village of Elewijt, well outside of Brussels in Vlaams-Brabant. The still exist under the name of KVV Crossing Elewijt.Today, the Crossing stadium is in a neglected, sad state. Everything is crumbling and even the dressing rooms are insalubrious. There are various plans to redevelop the site, but as it stands, this is how it looks nowadays. Imagine that in the Seventies, Bob Dylan performed live here!Nevertheless, local side RC Schaerbeek are somehow still playing here."

I saw the stadium from the passing tram, & already I was getting excited. I tried not to raise my the walls looked imposing, I was unsure if I would find a way in.

This is the back of a stand behind one of the goals.

I continued round, taking some shots of 'urban graffiti', a changing art form that sometimes appeals to me.

More high walls along the side.

A disused entrance of some sort, with a hole in it to 'tease' me!

This is a 'close up' of the 'window'.

More graffiti art as I continue round the outer walls.

And to the far side, where there's a closed clubhouse, & empty car park.

The entire ground is fenced off with this temporary wire mesh.

A supurb old tiling, in Schaerbeek colours.

With FC Kosova above another entrance.

An attempt at a glimpse inside, as I lift my camera up in the air, from one of the corners.

Tantalisingly close to an entrance.

And finally on one of the corners, I manage to squeeze past the mesh fencing, where it's not totally secure next to another wall.
And I'm in! Yes!!!!
I come in at a corner, there is a terrace behind my goal to the left, and this-the main stand- to my right. I am going to walk along this stand, and take you round the ground in an anti-clockwise direction.

Here is the big open terrace behind the goal, where we will finish our tour later.

Back to the main stand. Totally derelict, But enthralling. I want to close my eyes & take myself in a time machine back to whenever the glory days of this stadium were.

Left to rot, yes. But you could rennovate this grand old place fairly easily, with the right funding, I would have thought.

From here we look over to the terracing on the far side, getting our first look at the covered standing area.

Behind the other goal is this shell of what must have been a superb stand when built.

Here is another shot of it, further up in the main stand, from the old press box area.

And from the back rows we look over to the open terraced end.

And directly into the over opposite.

Now we are looking at the far corner, where we see the stand 'merge' with the terrace.

Here we lok directly into the stand behind the goal, in a very sorry state, but again not beyond hope of renovation.

Under all that tatty tarpaulin the benches don't look in that bad nick.

From this end we look back to the main stand.

And now we're round to the terraced side.

At an angle here, so I can get the other terracing behind the goal in the same picture.

Old scoreboard still on the wall.

From the corner of the covered area we look behind the goal.

And here we look back along the covered terrace, with the large stand in the background.

Parts of the terracing are becoming overgrown.

And we are finally back behind the goal, almost back to where we sneaked in.

The main stand, through the goal net.

Up on the terrace now, ignoring the fact it's fenced off, & presumably out of bounds, we look down to the terraced side.

And directly across the pitch.

As well as the main stand side, to complete the panoramic set.

With a remaining shot to show how steep this open terrace is.

With this picture to show how it's 'shifting' & why it's unsafe & fenced off.

A last look at the terrace, from the bottom this time.

Now we're 'safely' back behind the fences!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful pictures! I love this stadium. They are going to renovate this 'jewel' but I am afraid much of the old stands will just disappear and the capacity will be seriously reduced. Is there not a 'Ibrahimovic' around with plenty of money who wishes to save this stadium?