Royal Standard de Liege, commonly referred to as Standard Liege (French: [stɑ̃daʁ ljɛʒ]; Dutch: Standard Luik [ˈstɑndɑrt ˈloyk]; German: Standard Luttich [ˈstandaʁt ˈlʏtɪc, ˈʃtan-]), is a Belgian professional football club based in the city of Liege. They are one of the most successful clubs in Belgium, having won the Belgian league on ten occasions, most recently in 2007–08 and 2008–09. They have been in the top flight without interruption since 1921, longer than any other Belgian side. They have also won eight Belgian Cups, and in 1981–82 they reached the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup, which they lost 2–1 against Barcelona.
Standard players are nicknamed les Rouches [le ʁuʃ] because of their red jerseys. The French word for red, rouge, when pronounced with a Liege accent, sounds like rouche.
On the first day of school in September 1898, the pupils of College Saint-Servais in Liege started a football club, which they called Standard of Liege in reference to Standard Athletic Club of Paris. Standard, whose official name is Royal Standard Club of Liege, was based in Cointe and Grivegnee before settling permanently in 1909 in Sclessin, an industrial neighbourhood in Liege. Standard initially joined the Belgian First League in 1909 before returning to the lower leagues a few years later. The club then gained promotion back to the top division in 1921 and has never been relegated since.
Shortly after World War II, Roger Petit, a former player and team captain, became general secretary of the club. Petit worked alongside President Henrard Paul to establish Standard among the elite of Belgian football. In 1954, Standard won their first club trophy, the Belgian Cup, which was soon followed by a first national title in 1957–58.
At European level, in the 1960s, the club reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1961–62, falling to beaten finalists Real Madrid 0–6 on aggregate, and the same stage of the Cup Winners' Cup in the year 1966–67, losing to eventual champions Bayern Munich. The 1960s and early 1970s brought much success to the club, as Standard won six Belgian First Division titles, two Belgian Cups and a League Cup.
Driven by the Austrian Ernst Happel, Standard won the Belgian Cup again in 1981. The following year, Raymond Goethals took control of the team. Playing by the "Raymond Science" philosophy of football, the club was twice the champions of Belgium, twice winners of the Belgian Supercup (in three appearances) and reached the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1982. Standard played against Barcelona in the final at the Camp Nou on 12 May 1982, losing the match 1–2 to the Spaniards.
In 1984, these exploits were tainted by the revelation of the Standard-Waterschei Affair. Just days before the match against Barcelona, to secure the championship of Belgium and guard against last minute injuries. Standard had approached Roland Janssen, the captain of Thor Waterschei, to ensure that Thor players' threw the final game of the season. This scandal involved several players, including Eric Gerets, and coach Raymond Goethals, who fled to Portugal to escape suspension. In compensation the Standard players gave their game bonuses to the Waterschei players. Following the scandal, Standard was deprived of many of its playing staff due to long-term suspensions and it took the club several years to recover from the incident.
On 6 June 1993, Standard won the Belgian Cup for the fifth time in its history, defeating Robert Waseige's Charleroi at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels. This led to another appearance in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, ending in a record 10–0 aggregate defeat to Arsenal— having lost 3–0 at Highbury in London, Standard were humiliated 0–7 in the second leg at home.
Following the scandal of 1982, it took 25 years before Standard won the Belgium Championship again, lifting the title on 20 April 2008. The club won the Belgian league again the following year, securing the club's tenth league title on 24 May 2009 after a home-and-away game against rivals Anderlecht. Standard won the national cup once more in 2011, defeating Westerlo 2–0 in the final at the King Baudouin Stadium on 21 May 2011. The club was bought by businessman Roland Duchatelet on 23 June 2011, who then took over English club Charlton in December 2013, creating an affiliation between the two clubs.
On 20 October 2014, Guy Luzon resigned as manager of Standard with the club sitting in 12th position in the Pro League standings and having taken only two points from three UEFA Europa League matches. Luzon later became head coach of Charlton. Assistant and former midfielder Ivan Vukomanovic took over as caretaker-manager.
In April 2020, the Belgian Football Association announced that they had revoked Standard Liege's professional football licence, due to "poor financial management".
- 1898: Standard Football Club (Standard FC)
- 1899: Standard FC Liegeois (Standard FCL)
- 1910: Standard Club Liegeois (Standard CL)
- 1923: Royal Standard Club Liege (R. Standard CL)
- 1952: Royal Standard Club Liegeois (R. Standard CL)
- 1972: Royal Standard de Liege
On nine occasions, Standard players have won the Belgian Golden Shoe as the best player in the domestic league.Jean Nicolay won the award in 1963, Wilfried Van Moer in 1969 and 1970, Christian Piot in 1972, Eric Gerets in 1982, Sergio Conceicao in 2005, Steven Defour in 2007, Axel Witsel in 2008 and Milan Jovanovic in 2009.
This page also has a version in other languages: Стандард (russian)