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Vitesse Arnhem Barred from Dutch League for 2024/2025 Season

Vitesse Arnhem Barred from Dutch League

Former Chelsea Feeder Club Faces Uncertain Future

Vitesse Arnhem has been barred from competing in the 2024/2025 Dutch league season after having their professional license revoked due to failing financial and regulatory requirements. The club, which served as a feeder team for Chelsea, failed to provide a balanced budget and maintain a bank account.

This latest setback compounds Vitesse’s woes, as they were relegated this year after finishing last in the Eredivisie, ending a 35-year stay in the Dutch top flight. The club also received an 18-point deduction for not meeting licensing regulations, though this penalty did not affect their relegation status.

Vitesse plans to appeal the decision after missing the extended deadline to submit the necessary documentation to the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB). Originally set for May, the deadline was extended to June 24, after which the KNVB took action, stating that allowing Vitesse to participate under current conditions would jeopardize its continuity.

Interim managing director Edwin Reijntjes commented, “It was expected that such a decision would be made. We have not been able to provide the necessary information in time. We are looking forward to this process with confidence. We do not give up in the interest of the club; it is certainly not yet over.”

If the appeal fails, Vitesse could face almost certain bankruptcy, similar to Belgian club Mouscron, which was declared bankrupt in May 2022 after losing its license.

At 132 years old, Vitesse is the second oldest club in the Netherlands and has a significant history intertwined with Chelsea. Players like Mason Mount and Nemanja Matic had loan stints at Vitesse, and former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reportedly bankrolled the club through loans via offshore companies. The club’s struggles worsened following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, leading to European sanctions and the exit of Russian oligarchs from European businesses. Despite transferring shares from oligarch owner Valeriy Oyf to a new foundation, Vitesse has been unable to raise the funds required to retain their license.

Credit: Joe

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