From 2010 to the end of 2015, the Russian oligarch allegedly transferred tens of millions to the Eredivisionist.
Over the years, dozens of football talents who did not succeed at Chelsea ended up in the Eredivisie at Vitesse. No surprise, because the two clubs maintain warm ties and have set up a valuable rental construction. But there is more to it, according to leaked documents.
Former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is said to have transferred “at least” € 117 million to the Arnhem club in a period from 2010 to the end of 2015. This cash injection took place after the Arnhem club was acquired by Georgian businessman Merab Jordania in 2010. Three years later, the club was sold to Russian oligarch Aleksandr Chigirinsky.
An investigation by the KNVB in 2010 showed that there was nothing wrong with that, but four years later another investigation was launched following statements by Jordania in the media. Jordania claimed that Vitesse was being manipulated by’ London ‘ saying “We shouldn’t get too strong”. He then withdrew these statements.
The second KNVB investigation found that”there is no evidence that Chelsea has a say in Vitesse’s policy”. Probably because there was poorly limited information available at the time.
There would also be no financial ties between the Dutch club and Abramovich. Yet new information from the ‘Oligarch files’, a document containing leaked data from service provider MeritServus in Cyprus, suggests otherwise.
“The leaked documents appear to show that Abramovich financed Vitesse’s expenses with a series of loans worth at least € 117 million by the end of 2015. This was a huge investment for Vitesse, whose total turnover in 2014-15 was € 14 million, ” writes The Guardian.
Vitesse has since responded to the publication. “Vitesse emphasizes that the information on which the article is based has never been known to the club. The club has always fully cooperated with the investigations initiated by the KNVB, which also did not reveal any irregularities.”
But are there any risks for the club from Arnhem? According to the spokesman of the KNVB. Although it has not yet been determined where there is and is not, sanctions may be imposed. There is also the stadium conflict. If there is no clarity about the future of the GelreDome before april 11, the Eredivisionist may lose her professional license.