Three sites have been put forward for a new stadium for Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (USG), the runaway leader of the Pro League on its return to the top tier of Belgian club football this season.

The Brussels-based club, a historic name in Belgian football, returned to the top tier for the 2021-22 season after 48 years away and is currently nine points clear of nearest rival Royal Antwerp.

USG’s successful comeback has led to renewed assessment of its stadium situation, with the Stade Joseph Marien deemed unsuitable, especially if the club qualifies for European competition next season.

First opened in 1919, the stadium was redeveloped between 2016 and 2018 to its current capacity of 8,000 seats, with a further redevelopment one of three options presented yesterday (Tuesday) by regional planning body Perspectives.brussels.

The other two sites put forward are the Stade Adrien Bertelson, which would be redeveloped, or the construction of a new stadium on land between the Audi Forest and Bempt Park. The SportFootMagazine website said a 17,000-seat stadium is being targeted, expandable to a capacity of 20,000.

The office of Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, said, according to Belgian broadcaster RTBF: “The purpose of this meeting was the presentation, by Perspective.brussels, of the conclusions of their urban analysis relating to three potential sites identified by the club for the future establishment of a new stadium for the USG.

“The analysis was presented and sent to all the participants. Additional information was requested by each so that the conditions for the decision can be met. A next working meeting between the actors concerned will therefore be scheduled soon in order to move forward on this file.”

Vervoort had earlier said on Monday: “While it is legitimate for the RUSG to seek to establish a new stadium in the Brussels Region, a parsimonious use of the ground should lead us to reflect on this hypothesis from a perspective of collective interest and long-term sustainability of the project.

“This perspective of collective interest implies thinking about the possible pooling of existing infrastructure, the diversity of use and the opening of sports activities for the district as well.”

Image: Royale Union Saint-Gilloise