Nicaise out as Technical Director as Standard plan new structure
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TransferRoom Stories

On the Move
Nicaise out as Technical Director as Standard plan new structure
by Jonathan Rest

Standard Liège have said there are no immediate plans to recruit a new Technical Director after Benjamin Nicaise was dismissed from the role.

An executive committee made up of President Bruno Venanzi, Head of Academy Pierre Locht and myself will take care of sports issues. Benjamin Nicaise is no longer part of the club... Benjamin was a person appreciated and respected... Standard thanks Benjamin for his work.
Alexandre Grosjean
CEO, Standard Liège

Nicaise, a former Standard player, returned to the Belgian club in 2017 as Team Manager and then Head of Recruitment and was named Technical Director in June 2020, with a specific task to work closely with the academy to promote the emergence of young talent.

 

Nicaise's exit was expected and comes following the sacking of manager Mbaye Leye and his assistants Eric Deflandre and Patrick Asselman earlier this month, with Standard 12th in the table.

 

Slovenian Luka Elsner has now been brought in as manager, but Standard have no immediate plans to recruit a successor to Nicaise.

 

CEO Alexandre Grosjean explained: "An executive committee made up of [President] Bruno Venanzi, [Head of Academy] Pierre Locht and myself will take care of sports issues. Benjamin Nicaise is no longer part of the club... Benjamin was a person appreciated and respected... Standard thanks Benjamin for his work.

 

"In the short term, we will work together with the staff. There was a tendency at Standard Liège to give the coach and his staff full responsibility for the results. We now want to bring a new dynamic and our support. In other words, the management must be as close as possible to the staff, but also to peripheral departments such as medical and logistics staff, the communication department. The players are going to feel this awareness and this accountability that we want to bring."

 

Nicaise's commitment to the Standard academy led he and Grosjean to introduce an innovative wage scheme: lower fixed salaries, with an in-built bonus system.

 

In an exclusive interview with TransferRoom over the summer, Nicaise said: “For the young players the most important thing is that we offer the opportunity to play. So you can have a big salary [at a big club] or you have the opportunity to play. They need to choose. Maybe we give you the opportunity to show your talent and after that you can go to another country and make a lot of money.”

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