A recent report revealed that Dutch club Vitesse was loaned €117 million (£103m/$127m) by former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich
The Guardian has reported that Roman Abramovich provided significant funding for the 2010 takeover of Vitesse by former Georgia international Merab Jordania, according to exclusive information obtained from leaked data known as the Oligarch files.
The report indicates that the funding was funneled through several entities registered in offshore tax havens.
The Guardian has reported that the relationship between Vitesse and Abramovich was already under scrutiny by the Netherlands football association even before the latest revelations.
Merab Jordania, who led the takeover in 2010, was said to be a friend of the Russian billionaire and was later replaced by Alexander Chigirinsky, another associate of Abramovich.
Vitesse was also designated as a “partner club” of Chelsea, with many of their loan players joining Vitesse from 2010 onwards. Two notable examples of such loan players were Nemanja Matic and Mason Mount, who played for Vitesse in the 2017-18 season.
According to The Guardian, Abramovich’s use of offshore havens was so secretive that Dutch authorities failed to detect it twice.
The report has revealed that Abramovich’s funding not only financed Vitesse’s takeover in 2010 but also their subsequent spending. By the 2014-15 season, Vitesse’s total turnover had reached €14m (£12.3m/$15.2m), a substantial amount for a club of their size.
Vitesse releases a statement in regards to Abramovich allegations
“On Wednesday afternoon, the British newspaper The Guardian came out with a publication claiming that Vitesse was indirectly funded by companies owned by Mr. Abramovich, the then owner of Chelsea, in the period between 2010 and 2016,” the club responded in a statement.
“Vitesse stresses that the information on which the article is based was never known to the club. The club has always cooperated fully with the investigations launched by the KNVB, which also did not reveal any illegalities.
“Vitesse received share premium payments from the holding company above the club during the said period. which is also evident from all published annual reports. This holding company was, as The Guardian writes, financed by Marindale Trading Limited.
“Mr. Chigirinskiy is the (sole) beneficial owner of Marindale Trading Limited. which is evident from the official documents that have been part of the investigations. Vitesse had no knowledge of how this company was financed. Nor did Vitesse itself have any loan agreements.”
“The KNVB and other experts have investigated the situation at Vitesse broadly and thoroughly on several occasions. first the structure surrounding the takeover (2010). then the accuracy and completeness of the legal structures and financing structure presented by Vitesse (2015),” continued Vitesse.
“At all times, Vitesse gave the investigators full access to all relevant documents in its possession. Both investigations did not reveal any facts in violation of KNVB and UEFA rules (see this article).
“It was concluded at the time that Vitesse had always correctly and fully informed parties about the club’s ownership and legal structure. that Vitesse’s legal structure was in line with KNVB regulations and that no third party had control of the club. This is also confirmed in The Guardian by a representative of Chelsea.”