Royal Charleroi Sporting Club hail, unsurprisingly, from Charleroi, the largest city in Belgium's French-speaking region of Wallonia. Known familiarly as The Zebras, they first formed in 1904, as a more humble Charleroi Sporting Club, and were only awarded their Royal prefix a little after their promotion to the second division in the late 1920s. They finally ascended to the top flight in 1947. In the early days they had a fierce rivalry with the city's Royal Olympic Club, who at the time were the more successful of the pair - although those roles have reversed in recent years.
Their only major honour was as Second division champions in 1947, but also been losing finalists in the Belgian Cup a couple of times too. They've even had a couple of modest runs in Europe, reaching the UEFA Cup twice, and having a few good runs in the Intertoto in the 1990s, where they once gave Wimbledon a 3-0 drubbing.
Stade du Pays de Charleroi, a curious 24,891-capacity ground with towering wedge-shaped stands that was the site of England's embarassing defeat to Romania in the 2000 European Championship group stages.
The club is currently owned by Iranian Businessman Abbas Bayat, a soft drinks tycoon, who has given a pair of his nephews jobs at the club.
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