Pierre Locht (CEO Standard) on the Grill: “Standard’s objective this season is to rebuild…”

At Sclessin, he started at the very bottom of the ladder and now sits as Managing Director. Cautious despite Standard’s good start to the season, he evokes Almani Moreira, Sclessin’s pizzas, Olivier Renard, Ronny Deila’s underpants, Jean-Luc Godard, managing emotions, Bruno Venanzi and the model of 777. But also Selim Amallah, Sinan Bolat’s goal against AZ, the bling-bling, the Mpenza brothers, the journalists, Aurelio Vidmar, Club Brugge and Julien Duranville. And of course… sand yachting. Pierre Locht, CEO of Standard, passes ” on the grill “.

He receives in his large office in Sclessin, living room-sofas as a bonus: at 34, he is the only survivor of the former management of Standard. Exit the Bruno Venanzi, Alexandre Grosjean (“two people with whom I still have very good contacts“he specifies), Benjamin Nicaise and other Olivier Fox: Pierre Locht was retained by the new American owners of 777 to administer the Standard on a daily basis.

I never would have imagined this 12 years ago when I applied to Pierre Francois as team-manager of team A begins the rough CEO. At the time, I was just finishing my law studies: I was a Standard supporter like my two brothers, it comes to us from our father… so we didn’t really have a choice. (wink). I dreamed of working for this club, but I told myself that I was signing up for a year or two: my parents even told me… that I had to think about doing a serious job (smile). Then I worked in the legal department, I managed the Academy… and today, here I am CEO! I took additional training but I mostly learned on the job. A guarantee from Liège for the new management? (He smiles) Let’s say that I am above all the local management actor, who is based in London. The 777 group owns around sixty companies in different sectors: this is a different operating model compared to the past, where the owner, in this case Bruno Venanzi, was present in Liège and could be contacted directly. Here, there are more procedures, it sometimes takes longer but you learn new methods and it’s very interesting: you also benefit from the know-how of the whole group. The Standard, a drop in the ocean 777? No way ! We are a separate entity: Fergal Harkin is our 100% Sporting Director and has nothing to do with other clubs in the group, Genoa or Vasco da Gama for example. I must also congratulate the Standard staff, who have been able to adapt to all this novelty. But I understand the initial concerns: change is often scary, that’s normal, but it’s also very beneficial.

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