Club statement

Dear RWDM fans and supporters,


I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you. I am truly touched by your leadership and dedication to the club. I am excited to see that RWDM have been crowned champions of the Challenger Pro League, which has allowed us to join the elite of Belgian football. This is a remarkable achievement for the club, which would not have been possible without your dedication and support.


It was great fun meeting many of you in the field after our recent promotion. I was happy to hear your questions about the past season and your hopes for next season. I have to say I was surprised how little knowledge you as supporters have about how our club is run and how decisions are made. In this regard, and as we move forward, I believe you are entitled to much more transparency regarding the club’s operations and the critical decisions that led RWDM to join the elite of Belgian football after 21 long years.




First of all, I ask you to consider the choices of the former owner, Mr. Dailly, who invited me to take over the management and control of the RWDM that you love so much. The evolution the club has seen over the past 1.5 years is directly attributable to his decision to sell ownership and control of the club. Mr. Dailly intended to sell 80% of his stake in exchange for a sizable reward that valued his hard work and dedication. His aim was also to recruit a new owner who would invest heavily and passionately in the club, as a Brussels club – which I have done and will continue to do.


On December 24, 2021, at the invitation of Mr. Dailly, I became the 80% majority owner. It was agreed, both in the purchase transaction and in his management contract, that from this point on, final decisions on important football matters would rest with me.


Even with this right of contractual control, I can assure you that I did not make any major decisions during my first six months as owner, as above all I wanted to fully understand the club and its aspirations. I have specifically chosen not to interfere with Sporting Group decisions during the 2021-22 winter transfer window, with the exception of providing funds to support the choice of Sporting Group signings. It was after the club’s failed promotion that I pledged to take control and do everything possible to secure promotion during the 2022/23 campaign.


After a difficult start to the pre-season, I decided to exercise greater authority over football decisions, starting in July 2022, my first intervention having been the signing of Mickael Biron. With an incomplete squad and the need to act very quickly, Mr Dailly was removed from footballing decisions at this time, and we have embarked on a major progression of player recruitment initiatives in order to be ready for the coming season. was fast approaching. I sincerely regret that our lack of communication on these fundamental changes in the direction of football has led to great confusion over our decision-making architecture.


Some changes have been made more visible to you as we have prioritized several key areas to propel the club forward. We have made significant investments in our facilities, including the Academy training ground, first team training facilities and stadium pitch. These improvements have had a positive impact on our style of play and helped attract top talent to the club. As for the team, our goal was to build on the solid foundation of the previous season and make strategic improvements to increase our chances of promotion. Although there have been changes and challenges, I want to stress that our will to succeed remains unwavering. I want to assure you that I have invested heavily in the club and am fully committed to winning. The decisions taken were in the interest of RWDM and its community. We are building a scouting-focused organization that will ensure our success in D1A.


Let’s recall a number of other decisions made and milestones achieved as a result of these changes:




During my first year as owner, we invested heavily in improving the Academy training ground, our first team training facilities and the stadium pitch. We have gone from unplayable and dangerous muddy surfaces on all pitches to a stadium pitch that is among the best in Belgium and first-class training grounds that promote player health and development. The positive effect of improving our facilities on our style of play is obvious. It may not seem like the most important investment for supporters, but rest assured that our grounds are not only better for our team today, but




This subject is much more difficult to describe and is certainly the source of internal conflicts. I expected we would have a fairly straightforward process to grow our 2021/22 squad from a strong second place to a clear candidate for promotion. Our style of play was solid, we were a well-structured team and we only needed a few improvements to significantly increase our chances of promotion. After our loss in the Playoffs last year, I made it clear to the sports group that I would invest in a near doubling of salary expenses. With an already very strong membership, I thought this additional investment would be enough to achieve our promotional goals.


I was also happy that the football section allowed me to host the whole team and staff for a summer retreat, something I had promised the team if we were promoted, but we have decided to offer them anyway, as a sign of our gratitude for the fight waged.


The retirement was supposed to be a good start for the new season, but I was genuinely surprised to see only a small part of the team arrive at the summer retirement. Many players who had performed well the previous season were gone, and we were left with a solid but incomplete group.


Si quelqu’un se demande pourquoi j’ai finalement choisi de commencer à exercer un contrôle sur les décisions concernant les joueurs, je vous invite à revoir les effectifs de nos matchs de pré-saison contre des équipes de division inférieure, et en particulier notre effectif lors du match d’ouverture de la saison contre Virton. Notre équipe de 2021/22, quasi promue, avait été largement démantelée et nous recommencions sur une base beaucoup plus réduite. Notre équipe de pré-saison et notre équipe d’ouverture étaient à mon avis des ‘équipes de relégation’, car notre équipe était incomplète. Notre équipe de départ était de très grande qualité, mais nous n’avions tout simplement pas assez de joueurs qualifiés pour réaliser notre ambition de jouer au sommet.


The opening line-up had just 13 qualified players, with a higher salary level than the entire squad the previous season, yet we still needed Academy players to round out the squad on match day. , just to have reservists available. The workforce of RWDM-Virton is proof that it was time to intervene. Despite a significantly higher budget, our sports department – under the direct management of Mr. Dailly – not only failed to do better than the previous season, but also failed to start the season with a qualified full squad, even for a place in the middle of the table.


I also told our former sporting director that I was surprised that we could start the season with so few players when our team had just traveled to Brazil and our partners from Botafogo were fully willing to help us. I asked him to return, alone, to Brazil and come back with 4-5 of his favorite choices and that depending on their desire to play in Europe, I would ask Botafogo players to support our project and our « brotherhood  » with Molenbeek. In the end, four players were chosen by our sporting director RWDM for development positions or as potential players in the base configuration. I chose to add two additional players, one for a development position and the another as a potential player in the basic configuration. One of the players I chose to send was Barreto, despite specific and repeated objection from the RWDM sports department, because I knew he would recover from his injury and show much more than this. what was expected of him.


Help also came from our friends at Crystal Palace. It was late in the calendar to offer a change of plan to a Premier League prospect, but our partners at Palace have allowed us to loan out two of their prospects who we believe would represent a high standard for Division 1B. We thought one of them would stand out in defense, although he was specifically rejected by our former sporting director.


The argument that Eagle sent poorly performing players to Molenbeek is baseless and insulting. RWDM is not someone’s satellite club, but rather part of a family of owners which includes very experienced players who have volunteered to help select players who will succeed in Division 1B and Division 1A.


This is the advantage of collaboration. A global footprint of talent who can back each other up when needed…and let’s face it, our season opener lineup was certainly a call for help.


I’m also happy to say that these young men have totally embraced the identity of Molenbeek…the fans, the songs, the « never-die » attitude. They are not Belgians, but they wanted to take the chance to come to Belgium and fight for you and for Molenbeek.


Sports department


Under the direct leadership of Mr. Dailly, our sports department failed on three essential points:

1. Failure to provide RWDM with a competitive workforce;

2. Failure to provide qualified Belgian players who would meet our matchday requirements:

3. Reluctance to engage in the scouting duties that are required of a sports director and sports department.


Regarding the first point, our sporting leaders presided over the dismantling of the 2021/22 squad and were unable to present a competitive squad when the 2022/23 season opened. With only 13 players qualifying for Belgium in D1B, and a squad spend that had already exceeded the previous year’s budget, the season opener was a disaster, both competitively and financially.


Regarding the second point, our lack of Belgian players is a huge problem, and it needs to be solved. The sudden large influx of foreign player suggestions from Eagle Football should not be seen as our strategy. It should never have been necessary and it wouldn’t have been necessary had it not been for the legitimate concern I felt watching our formation on opening day.


The objective should not be to reach the minimum of 6 Belgian players for the match day formation. The objective must be to remain strong and proud, as a Brussels club, on the way to the D1A, by seeking to recruit Belgian players who know how to play and win in Belgium, in order to offer our RWDM family a championship whose they can be proud.


Our former sporting director has given an interview which is clearly aimed at hiding the reasons for his dismissal and irresponsibly stoking fears among supporters that Belgian identity is under threat. Let’s be clear, in his pre-season recruitment presentation to the owners, he presented 19 players for discussion, of which only 6 were from Belgium and weren’t even listed as priorities.


The proposed players are:

– four forwards, none from Belgium

– four wingers, no Belgians

– four defensive midfielders, 3 Belgians (including one we signed)

– four left-backs, 1 Belgian (a 34-year-old player who we did not retain)

– three right-backs, 2 from Belgium (one of which we signed).


If our sports leaders were so concerned about our Belgian core, it was certainly not evident in the recruitment list. At the start of the season, we were only able to meet the requirement of 6 Belgian players by placing players from the Academy on the match list. Our recruitment in Belgium is practically non-existent and 70% of the recruitments offered at the time came from other countries.


It must be said, we are a Brussels club and we must strive to fight for excellence in order to become one of the best recruiting centers in Belgium.


Finally, and related to the above, our sports department was not regularly performing the intensive scouting, scouting and recruiting tasks that I have seen among the best practices of successful clubs, large and small, at across Europe. We did NOT engage in actual scouting. We were simply not used to recruiting players directly, with our staff choosing instead to stay in club offices and facilities and review videos and information sources available on the internet. This is absolutely NOT the way a team should be built, and this is how recruiting mistakes are made.


In football organizations large and small, the best sporting directors are road warriors, constantly on planes and trains, validating recruitment decisions with their own eyes.


The process is as follows:

1. Start with a needs profile, a clear idea of ​​the type of player to recruit

2. Use third-party data subscriptions or proprietary data analysis software and identify a large population of potential candidates.

3. Use the video to confirm what the date implies and narrow down the list of possible choices.

4. Go to the field, observe the shortlist of players and confirm or reject what has been suggested by the data and video.


When this process is not followed, you often end up with players who require transfer fees and investments, but who do not gain playing time.


Our former sports leaders simply did not engage in the activities described above and he ignored our repeated advice to set up a scouting function within the club, a necessity to build a championship team, in Division 1B and Division 1A.


To conclude on the changes in the athletic department, please understand my reasoning. Our team should have been loaded with qualified players, ideally Belgians, at the start of the season… and when this was clearly not the case, solutions should have been quickly put in place to save the season, and our actions had to be rational to from a financial point of view.


Big buys, with little or no scouting work, would have produced dangerous results. The lack of Belgian players is a problem at our club, and the lack of a refined and studied list of qualified players is also a problem. Going forward, such problems can only be solved with a proper scouting effort, organized by a sports director who knows how to run a scouting-focused organization…the best scouts we can find, sifting through the data, devouring the videos, then heading to matches in person to confirm the talent that only the eyes can see.


I want to apologize that the dismissal of our sporting director seemed so sudden. It is certainly not a decision that was made without careful consideration. The decision was incorrectly communicated as an Eagle Football decision, as if it was made by an organization whose objectives do not align with those of our club. This is a decision I made, driven by a direct concern and my passion for RWDM, to improve our sports department and build a champion for this Belgian community.


Our identity as a club


I understand that I am an outsider and that I am new to this club. I am not from Brussels. It is important that you know, however, how I got here and how I feel about this club, your community and your identity.


Let me stress it again: I came to Belgium out of respect for Belgian football and Belgian culture. Belgium is often considered the #1 FIFA country in the world, and my goal is to build a Belgian champion for our Brussels community.


RWDM is neither a feeder club nor a satellite club. I have said it many times, in many interviews, translated into many languages. Football clubs come from their communities and MUST reflect them. I enjoyed the start of our relationship very much and I enjoyed seeing the way you supported our international players. Players who have adopted Brussels and who will fight for Molenbeek. I also enjoyed seeing a large base of RWDM supporters growing in other countries, especially in Brazil, as a wider audience is now cheering on RWDM and getting to know Brussels.


Please be aware that this year’s influx of international players does not reflect our strategy of basis for the RWDM. We look forward to continuing to develop the collaboration between the club and the RWDM community in the future, and you should expect to see a better balance between international players and a stronger base of Belgian players.


Your identity is intact and I am very attached to RWDM as a Brussels club with a strong Belgian core, on and off the pitch. I’ve made it clear many times that I hate multi-club business models, which put corporate goals above community goals. Football, more than any other sport, grew out of the community and that’s what drew me so passionately to the sport. I believe that every community deserves to see their favorite club become champions…and that no club should ever feel like another’s stepping stone.




As you can see, the changes we have made and the decisions that have been made are part of the long-term plan put in place when we sold control of the club. The incredible evolution of the club can be directly attributed to the decision taken by its former owner to transfer ownership and control to me.


However, it is with a heavy heart that I must address some serious concerns which have arisen since I took over and which led yesterday to the dismissal of Mr. Dailly as Chairman of the Board of Directors. As noted above, the transfer of footballing decisions from Mr Dailly to myself has largely already taken place in July 2022, resulting in a successfully strengthened Championship squad.


Further information regarding Mr. Dailly’s management actions came to light in late 2022, leading to Mr. Dailly’s dismissal as the Club’s chief executive, with the board taking and finalizing the decision in February 2023. At the end of the February board meeting, Mr. Dailly retained only the negotiated title of chairman of the board of directors. He was no longer general manager of the Club. In summary, the reasons for his dismissal from all his positions at the Club, including his last role as chairman of the board, are as follows:

1. Misappropriation of club funds;

2. Abuse of corporate power, disruption of corporate governance

3. Violent and intimidating behavior by Mr. Dailly, resulting in a toxic work environment.

4. Actions and statements incompatible with the values ​​which are dear to us as a modern football club rooted in Brussels.


While acknowledging Mr. Dailly’s past contributions, it was collectively agreed that he would no longer serve as Chairman of the Board. His consulting contract is also terminated. These decisions formalize the change in decision-making power that has been underway since the beginning of 2022, with the main objective of restoring integrity and ensuring that the club operates in accordance with the highest standards of ethics and governance of business. Our ongoing commitment to upholding the values ​​of fairness, respect and unity remains unwavering. We are confident that this leadership change will foster an environment consistent with our shared values. By establishing strong, principled governance, we aim to rebuild trust and forge a new era of success on and off the pitch.


In light of this transition, I am honored to take on the role of President of RWDM. I am committed to leading our club with passion, integrity and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Along with all of you RWDM fans, we will continue to prioritize the values ​​that make RWDM unique – our sense of community, our heritage, and a shared love for the beautiful game.


This decision is part of our collective vision for the future of RWDM and underscores our commitment to a dynamic and effective leadership approach that will lead us to continued success. Today, RWDM is literally playing in another league. This is a resounding moment of pride and an undeniable call to action – we must ensure that our lofty position is reflected and embraced in all aspects of RWDM’s existence and organization. This involves embracing necessary changes, improvements and professionalization that will reverberate throughout the organization. Whether it’s our leadership roles, our administrative functions or our facilities, whether it’s improving the fan experience to deepening our community engagement and recruitment, we must ensure that our progress reflects the core values that have made RWDM a symbol of passion and unity.


I look forward to sitting down with you again, face to face, always ready to share a full account of the many challenges we have faced this year as a club, and the decisions we have made to reach our level. current competitive success. I am incredibly honored to have embarked on this exciting journey alongside the RWDM community. Together, we will build the legacy of this club, striving for excellence and success on and off the pitch. Your support and passion make RWDM truly special, and I am committed to fostering a strong and vibrant future for the club we all love.


Let us welcome this new chapter with enthusiasm and dedication, in the highest division of Belgian professional football. Exciting times lie ahead and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead RWDM into a future filled with successes and memorable moments.




John Textor

Publié le 31-05-2023 à 16:37
door RWDM

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