Valenciennes

Founded In
1913
Location
Valenciennes, France

Valenciennes

About Valenciennes

Valenciennes Football Club was first established in 1913. The First World War impacted upon the club's already limited resources, and so the owners proposed a merger between Valenciennes and the other clubs in the local area. This consolidation took place in 1916, with the club becoming known as US Valenciennes. In 1933, as French football as a whole became professionalised, Valenciennes achieved professional status and were inserted into the second division for its inaugural season. In 1935, the club was able to achieve promotion to the top flight for the first time.

In the years that followed, the club bounced between the divisions, occasionally losing its professional status. In 1993, the club became embroiled in a match fixing scandal, which also involved Marseille, who were set to compete in that season's Champions League final. Marseille players and officials allegedly bribed Valenciennes players, asking them to go easy in the match in order to give Marseille an advantage in their upcoming final. As a result, the club suffered damage to its image and severe financial difficulties and was relegated to the fourth tier. After filing for bankrupcy, the club was rebranded as Valenciennes Football Club. The next few years were spent in the Championnat de France amateur and the Championnat National, the fourth and third tiers respectively.

The 2004-05 season saw the beginning of Valenciennes dramatic climb back to Ligue 1, as the club won the Championnat National and gained promotion to Ligue 2 in the process. Valenciennes were a surprise package in Ligue 2 during the 2005-06 season and, under the management of Antoine Kombouaré, achieved back-to-back promotions, meaning the club was once again competing in the top tier.

Some of the more notable players to represent Valenciennes over the years include Nourredine Kourichi, Johan Audel and former French international, Joseph Bonnel.

The team currently plays its home matches at the Stade du Hainaut, which opened in 2011. The stadium replaced their former home, the Stade Nungesser, and holds a maximum total of 25,000 supporters.