Standard Liège must fear that it will drop to the fourth level in Belgium. The club did not receive a license for professional football from the Belgian football association RBFA on Wednesday.

Standard therefore threatens to have to enter the fourth level next season with a point penalty. The 'Rouches' appeal to the Belgian Court of Arbitration for Sport (BAS), which has to judge before 10 May.

"Our club vehemently disputes this unfair decision and will defend its interests for the BAS. We are confident that the outcome will be good," Standard said on his own website, outraged at the decision of the RBFA.

The RBFA writes in a document that there is a lack of evidence of paying the drawing premiums in February, a negative net result of more than 14 million euros in the figures presented and doubts about the financing of the expansion of the stadium.

Standard to second amateur class

Standard is therefore severely punished. The ten-time national champion (last in 2009) will, as it stands, be returned to the second amateur class with a three-point deduction and will not be allowed to play European football next season.

Standard, which is coached by Michel Preudhomme, is fifth in the Jupiler Pro League. The competition will most likely not be finished, after the board of organizers Pro League advised to end the season and to proclaim league-leader Club Brugge as champion.

In addition to Standard, KV Oostende, Excelsior Mouscron (both coming out this season in the Jupiler Pro League), KSC Lokeren, KSV Roeselare, Excelsior Virton and Lommel SK (active at the second level) were also not licensed. Lokeren has already announced that it will protest.