Saturday 6 December 2008

Anderlecht; Brussels, Belgium.

I revisted Anderlecht toward the end of the 2009/10 season, for the strange Belgian Championship play-offs. I won't begin to explain them here, as to be perfectly honest, like all things 'play-off' in Belgian football, I don't really understand them myself!

So this was my first time here for a match, which complements my original set of photos, from 2008, when I walked into an empty ground, which follow on from these new ones.

The match was in the Championship play-offs, on Friday 15th April, & they beat RC Genk 2-0.

One of the posh executive entrances to the ground. I took the first few photos in the morning, when I went to pick up my pre-booked ticket.

League sponsors Jupiler sign on the railings outside.

A sign pointing to the club shop, above the ground regulations.

A close up of the stadium map, on the above sign.

Some of the turnstiles, with a lovely old fashioned ticket booth.

I couldn't understand the wording, but i think this was a planning application for a ground redevelopment.

There were a number of stickers on walls & posts, from their supporters' groupings. This wasis cleearly influenced by England, over the Channel.

A poster advertising a Supporters' Club function.

Ticket windows. Prefer the older one we saw earlier.

Another fan group.

And the next!

Now it's early evening, & I'm on the way back to the ground for the game. Past this nearby snack shop.

The souvenir caravans are outside the ground.

Crowd building up before kick off.

A busy bar across the road from the stadium.

One of the players on a large hoarding.

An Anderlecht Vespa in the official club shop!

My entrance is at the other end of the stadium, here.

Food & drink on sale on the other side.

Ouside the ground, but already through the turnstiles.

Purple Heart are another fan grouping, I think. Presumably they each have their own section of the ground.

This is under the stand behind the goal.

My ticket is a mid-priced one, along the side, near to the end we were just under. Here I look down the length of my upper tier, along the side, from near my seat.

Taken from the same area, but looking across the pitch.

And across to the stand opposite, which is almost identical to the one we are in. The ground is of the same style, all the way round.

My side curves round behind the goal.

Below the seating there is terracing at the front.

In between the two there are executive boxes, & you can see the small area for the away fans at the end of it.

Here is a close up for them, before they got 'warmed up'.

The Anderlecht Mauves Army are at the other end.

Opposite them, to my left, are the Purple Hearts.

A closer look at the terracing & executive boxes.

The early arrivals.

This is the actual view from my seat. I paid 40 euros for it, a lot of money for me, but well worth it, as for me this was 'special treat'.

The back of a sweatshirt worn by the fan in front of me.

Looking to the end near me again. quite a few of the snaps will now get a little repetitive, as I look round the ground, from this one section of it.

The dugouts are on the far side, opposite.

The electronic scoreboard announces the teams.

The floodlights come on, as daylight fades.

And now the visiting Genk fans light up!

While the home supporters prepare to make some noise!

A huge Anderlecht shirt held aloft just before kick off.

And the other end offers their encouragement too, with a number of songs, banners & announcements in English!

Back at 'my end' of the stadium a banner is unfurled on the lower terrace.

That's not mist, but smoke from the Genk pyrotechnists...

Here at it's height!

Now it's almost kick off, & my stand is full.

The sun sets behind the stand opposite.

A lovely red sunset as a backdrop, early on.

It's half time, so I have another look at the end to my left.

And over the pitch at night.

The terrace below, with the sterile segregated area clear.

This is the view from a seat right at the back, clearly 'restricted view'!

At the front of this section I attempt to lean over, to get a not very good view of the seats down below.

Another view of the stand opposite.

With the end to my left, once more.

The attendance flashes up on the scoreboard.

As does an English announcement. Weird!


Final score on the board at the far end.

Game over, my stand empties.

As does the end to my left.

A final view over the pitch from my corner.

Then I move along the side I was sat, along the upper area.

Well ok, yes it is yet another picture of the end to my left, but it is from a different angle! I told you there would be a few 'repeat' shots! ;-)

Now I'm heading toward the far end.

Directly over the halfway line.

On the steps down there are Jupiler beer adverts in the club purple.

One very last glimpse along my stand.

The other end, to finish our tour of the ground.

Now back to the game itself.

Match almost over, the home fans start to celebrate.

The far end at the final whistle.

Anderlecht players party...

Genk troop over slowly to their pocket of fans in the corner.

That's what you call mutual respect.

And then the players head up to my end.

Saluting the fans as they do abroad.

And as the drummer boy packs away it's time for us to end our visit here too.

The following is my original posting on Anderlecht:

I was a bit fortunate when I went to look at the Anderlecht ground on the 1st December. I didn't think I'd be able to get in, as they are such a big club, & would have been happy to settle for a browse around their club shop. But on wandering around the perimeter of the stadium I found a gate to the pitch was open, and so was an inner one, so I could walk around the whole pitch! As i was nearing the end of my walk around the touchline a woman came out of the stands and told me I shouldn't be here & it was private. I told her the gate was open, and she asked me to leave and locked them behind me! I wasn't going to argue, as I'd taken my photos, but really should have argued the toss with her after she told me I should have not been here as the signs said. Signs? What signs? And CERTAINLY none in English! I knew I was correct, & she was a jobsworth, but I had my photos, so couldn't be bothered to make a point. Ironically the club store was shut, even though THAT should have been open!

I approached the ground from through a park, and first saw this entrance. I intitially thought this was the main entrance, but it was not. That was at the other end of the stadium.

These flags proudly proclaim the club are a century old.

This is a shot of outside the stand down one of the sides.

Just past this I found these gates open, leading into the ground...

Yes I'm in! This is behind the goal, terracing at the front, seats up above. I'm going to walk straight ahead, dashing round the touchline anti-clockwise.

From the corner I look across to the other far corner.

This the stand on the left, as I'm behind the goal.

And looking to the other end, which appears to be identical to the one we're standing in front of.

From directly behind the net we look right, to the main stand, that has the executive boxes in them.

I'm not sure what these boxes are, but they are in the corner of the ground.

Here we look down the touchline.

And on the other side we see the club initials in the lower seats.

Back across the pitch we pass the dugouts, though you can't really call them dugouts can you? Perhaps this is what the modern terminology 'technical area' is meant for?

Here is the 'tunnel', in between the two benches.

We're moving on, towards the corner, and behind the goal.

One last look down the touchline we've just walked along.

A gate to the terrace is open in this corner, so I take a snap.

A look down the far side, through the fencing.

And from the same corner back down the main stand again.

Another view across the pitch, from this corner.

Back pitchside, we look back to the other end.

From behind the goal area we look to our left, dugout side.

And another 'corner to corner' snap.

Now along the side, we get a close up of behind that far goal.

That was my last snap, before the officious woman intervened, but I'd covered the whole ground by now. Here is some sort or ticket booth outside. I'm not sure what the signs say. Maybe they're the ones she was referring to.....even if they were then tough! As I don't speak French or Flemish!

One final photo of what, I think, is the main entrance.