Lost ground: Mispelplein
Before leaving to KV Oostende – Club Brugge I checked at home if there were maybe other grounds nearby I could visit. I found out the old ground of VG Oostende, Armenonville, has been closed since a few years.
So after searching a while I found out that the city of Oostende had some more clubs but they all went into administration after financial problems. That’s how I found the Mispelplein, the old home of Hoger Op Oostende and VG Oostende.
2nd divsion club AS Oostende and 3rd division club VG Oostende merged in 1981 to form KV Oostende. Before, AS Oostende played in the Albertparkstadion (current KVO ground) and VG Oostende at Armenonville.
In 1982, a couple of disgruntled Végisten (former members of VGO) felt that KVO was run by Asisten (former members of ASO) and they decided to bring VGO back from the dead.
Because of Belgian FA rules, it was not permitted to use the old name for 10 years and the ‘new’ club was named FC Oostendse, but in 1992 it was renamed VG Oostende again.
Until around 2001, they played at Armenonville (with a brilliant main stand), but they had to leave it as the ground was sold to the nearby hospital (which now is the huge, main hospital of our city). The derelict ground and changing rooms were also becoming a hazard to the spectators and players.
VGO wandered around Ostend and whilst playing at the 5th and 4th tier, they groundshared the Albertparkstadion with KVO, but in 2010, they moved to the Mispelplein to groundshare with Hoger Op Oostende (present from 1999 until 2011, a merger of small 5th/6th/7th tier clubs SK Voorwaarts Oostende and Hermes Oostende). This ground was more suited for 5th/6th tier football.
At first I couldn’t find a way to get in until I saw a huge hole in the fence. The ground is completely lost and really looks like a pasture. There are no longer lines on it, which is normal, but even the goals are gone..
The ground doesn’t seem very old to me by looking at the dressing rooms but it does have a nice stand with “VG Oostende” on it.
The last team which played here was VG Oostende. At their highest the team played in the 4th division of Belgian football, were they even got very good results, ending 2nd in their first season and they lost in the play offs that season. The next 2 seasons they ended twice in 3th position before relegating back to the 5th division as they only managed to get 10 points.
The club instantly relegated to the 6th division but went back to the 5th after only 2 seasons. In their first season in the 5th division they ended in 2nd place which is a play-off spot but because of financial problems the club had to forfeit the game.
In 2013/14 they started the season with a very young squad but in November 2013 they went into administration.
Before VG Oostende played at the Mispelplein, the ground belonged to Hoger Op Oostende and SK Voorwaarts Oostende. Both clubs also no longer exist.