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GROUND // Le Canonnier - Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz

Right at the border with France Mouscron used to see great players and great football. With Lille (France), Kortrijk and Waregem nearby Mouscron has a lot of competition to attract interesting players, but over the years they have shown it is possible. Stade Le Canonnier is a very majestic stadium that contains everything for first level football.

Originally this stadium was built in 1930 for Stade Mouscronnois. This team was founded in 1922, not long after AA Mouscronnoise was founded. For a number of years they both only played on a regional level, but in 1938 Stade Mouscronnois reached the national levels for the first time and as the first team in Mouscron. This would only last for a couple of years though. In 1945 however they returned and they would play nice football in third division.

In 1952 Stade Mouscronnois relegated to the newly created fourth division, but luckily they kept playing in the national divisions. During the 50s however Stade would experience some rough years and they relegated for a short period to the regional leagues again. Stade returned to fourth division in 1959 and a few years later they finally returned to third division. In 1964 however, after only one season in third division, Stade Mouscronnois and ARA Mouscronnoise merged to become Excelsior Mouscron.

The new team kept the matricule number of ARA Mouscronnoise, but continued in third division and played in Stades stadium. ARA Mouscronnoise never made it to the national divisions so the merge was in fact a nice step forward for the team. R Excelsior Mouscron played in third division throughout the 60s, but in 1972 they relegated back to fourth division and only four years later even to the regional leagues again. In 1979 they returned to fourth division.

In the 80s they played a lot of stable seasons in fourth division and in 1990 they merged with Association Athlétique Rapid Club Mouscronnois, but never changed their own name. The same year they won fourth division and only one year later they even won third division. For the first time they would appear in second division. In 1996 they even won promotion to first division and even this wasn't the end for the successes. Under impulse of Leekens and the brothers Mpenza R Excelsior Mouscron even reached the European leagues.

Throughout the 90s and the nillies Mouscron had a lot of success, but this also created a downside... The financial status wasn't that healthy anymore and in 2006 the big problems started to come up. They came into contact with bankruptcy only being able to avoid it at the last seconds. In 2009 the problems came back and during the season of 2009/2010 they had to file for bankruptcy. In January 2010 it was finally decided to merge with RRC Péruwelz in order to save the team. R Mouscron-Péruwelz was created and moved from the neighbouring Péruwelz to Stade La Canonnier.

Racing Club Péruwelz itself was founded in 1921, played one season in third division in 1935, but was down to a regional level for the rest. Where Excelsior was creating history in the 90s, RRC Péruwelz was doing the same in the other direction. In 1995 they relegated to the lowest division and there they even finished one season as last. A few years later, in 2001, RRC Péruwelz started climbing up and reached the highest regional level again. In 2004 they made it to fourth division and in 2006 they even made it to third division again. In 2010 the news was brought that they would merge with R Excelsior Mouscron.

The past years they crawled back up to first division, but they seem to keep on struggling financially. They've also been accused twice of competition fraud.


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