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© 2018 Pitch'd Groundhopping

GROUND // SIDMAR Post 4 - FC Sint-Kruis-Winkel

FC Sint-Kruis-Winkel will never play at their SIDMAR Post 4 stadium again. December 1st, 2019 will forever be marked as the day FC SKW said goodbye to their stadium with a victory. Soon they will move to their new grounds, closer to the village center of Sint-Kruis-Winkel.



It's 1962. Sidmar, a maritime steel producer, was founded and started building factories near Ghent and right next to Sint-Kruis-Winkel. Throughout the years the company became bigger and bigger and in 1968 already Sint-Kruis-Winkel managed to get a deal with Sidmar to use a part of their territory to build a stadium. That became the SIDMAR Post 4 stadium and FC Sint-Kruis-Winkel started playing there in 1968. They immediately joined the Belgian FA as well.



The agreement between Sidmar and FC SKW was very honorable (whereby Sidmar funded a part of the needed money to continue and survive as a lower league football team). Sidmar continued to grow and expand, but FC SKW on the other hand always kept it at a regional level. Eventually in 2002 Sidmar became part of Arcelor and it became ArcelorMittal Ghent. As the industry further developed and roads became busier, FC SKW started to suffer.



Locals in Sint-Kruis-Winkel felt it was unhealthy and unsafe for their children to come and play at FC SKW. The team's accomodations were also very outdated and it was hard to keep up with the maintenance. Ever since Sidmar became ArcelorMittal FC SKW has been looking for a new stadium, but building one on their own was almost impossible to do. Later on there was an extra complication... ArceloreMittal needed the grounds of SIDMAR Post 4 to be able to expand. FC SKW was forced out of their stadium.



In 2016 there seemed to be a solution at last (after the initial talks already started in 2013). The city of Ghent would buy grounds and build a new stadium for FC SKW, closer to the village center so the youth could safely play football again. Still it took a number of years before everything was finally resolved and cleared out. The whole story became a bit of a local laughing stock, which is something the team doesn't deserve at all.



By December 31st the current stadium will be back in the hands of ArcelorMittal and what you see right now will be completely demolished (if it hasn't started already), although there isn't much to demolish according to some of the locals. This last part is something we can understand, but we also appreciate the fact FC SKW understands it is something wonderful they are leaving. They have spent over 50 years on this ground in the meantime and it is definitely with mixed feelings they move out.




Let's hope FC SKW gets what they deserve... further development of the team in more modern circumstances. And let's hope their very first participation to the Cup of Belgium in 2017 wasn't a fluke and they continue to grow the next couple of years. We are happy and we feel very lucky to still have been able to visit the magnificent SIDMAR Post 4, experiencing the celebrations after their victory, their hopes and aspiration for the future and their more somber feelings having to leave their only home up to now... We wish you all the best in your new stadium, FC SKW!