Roland Duchâtelet

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Roland Duchâtelet
In office
28 June 2007 (2007-06-28) – June 2010
Personal details
Born (1946-11-14) 14 November 1946 (age 71)
Merksem, Antwerp, Belgium
Nationality Belgian
Political party Open VLD
Alma mater Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Roland Duchâtelet (French: [dyʃɑtlɛ]; born 14 November 1946) is a Belgian millionaire businessman who turned his progressive liberal ideology into a political movement that he called Vivant. He also owns five football clubs: Carl Zeiss Jena, Alcorcon, Sint-Truidense, Újpest and Charlton Athletic.[1] He also previously owned Standard Liege which he later sold in early 2015.


In 1990, he became involved in micro-electronics. He founded several multinational corporations, of which Melexis,[2] which produces semi-conductors is the best known. Other corporations include X-Fab,[3] which also produces semi-conductors, Epiq,[4] which produces electronic systems, the online-television channel, and the holding Elex. He became a multimillionaire.

In 1993, he wrote a book NV België, verslag aan de aandeelhouders (Joint stock company Belgium, a report to the shareholders), published in early 1994. In his book, he pleaded for economic and political transparency. He emphasized the necessity of sustainable development in a globalized world economy. He also proposed to lower Belgium's public expenditure by 30%. A new political party BANAAN ("Beter Alternatieven Nastreven Als Apathisch Nietsdoen", or "Better seeking for alternatives than doing nothing in apathy") used this book as its political program. This party was committed to a basic income and a green tax shift. After the 1995 elections in which BANAAN obtained 1% of the votes, Duchâtelet founded the Vivant party/political movement which then entered in federal, regional and communal elections. In 1999, Vivant obtained 2,1% of the national votes. Duchâtelet is party chair and has been a candidate in several elections.

In the movie La vie politique des Belges (2002) by Jan Bucquoy, Duchâtelet is depicted in Vivant's 1999 election campaign.

In 2004 Vivant entered a political alliance with the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD) and Duchâtelet published his second book De weg naar meer netto binnenlands geluk (The road to more net domestic happiness).

In 2007 his party merged with the VLD,[5] which entered in the next elections as Open VLD.[6] He was elected as a member of the Belgian Senate in 2007.[7]

He is the main shareholder of 5 football clubs:

Belgium STVV (D1),

Germany FC Carl Zeiss Jena (D3),

England Charlton Athletic F.C. (D3),

Hungary Újpest F.C. (D1) and

Spain AD Alcorcón (D2).

Football Controversy[edit]

In March 2016 Roland Duchatelet made headlines after a statement appeared on the Charlton Athletic Football Club website[8] in which some of the club's fans were accused of wanting the club to fail. In the aftermath of this statement Charlton's newly appointed head of communications resigned from her position. The Championship side was then relegated to League One on the 19th of April 2016[9] His controversial ownership has been met with widespread protests from supporters of Charlton Athletic,[10][11] who have formed the Coalition Against Roland Duchâtelet other groups of Charlton fans who oppose Duchatelet's ownership are; ' The Belgian 20' & 'WAR' (Women against the regime) [12] A more comprehensive look at Roland's time as Owner of Charlton Athletic can be found via the 'Getting to Know The Network' podcast which follows the Belgian's tenure in great detail with interviews from key figures along the way.[13] Similar protests from supporters of Standard Liege resulted in Duchâtelet selling the Belgian side.[14]


  • R. Duchâtelet, NV België, verslag aan de aandeelhouders (Joint stock company Belgium, a report to the shareholders), 1994
  • R. Duchâtelet, De weg naar meer netto binnenlands geluk (The road to more net domestic happiness), 2004


External links[edit]