Abramovich funded the takeover of a Dutch club while he was at Chelsea

Ex-Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich SECRETLY funded the takeover and running of Vitesse Arnhem – and spent over £100MILLION on the Dutch outfit during his time at Stamford Bridge – leaked documents reveal

  • Roman Abramovich financially supported a Dutch side, a leaked dossier shows
  • The Russian spent £102.8million on the club via loans during his time at Chelsea 
  • Data contained in the Oligarch Files shows his involvement in the club’s takeover

Roman Abramovich secretly funded the takeover and running of a Dutch club while he also owned Chelsea, according to leaked documents.’

Data contained in the Oligarch Files, a dossier of leaked data, appears to reveal that Abramovich was behind Vitesse Arnhem’s takeover and spending via loans totalling at least £102.8m by the end of 2015 – and Chelsea’s connection with the Eredivisie side extended far beyond loaning players such as Mason Mount, Nemanja Matic and Armando Broja.

A company called Marindale Trading, owned by an associate of Abramovich Alexander Chigirinsky, had helped fund a 2010 Vitesse takeover by Merab Jordania, also a friend of the Chelsea owner, according to The Guardian.

And the payments to Marindale for the purchase and including further follow-up loans, according to the files, appear to be traceable back to Abramovich.

At the time of Vitesse’s first takeover Jordania insisted Abramovich was not involved. 

Roman Abramovich ‘secretly funded the takeover of Vitesse Arnhem’ while he was at Chelsea

After Chelsea began loaning players to Vitesse, doubts about the links resurfaced once more when Chigirinsky took full control in 2013 and it emerged he had been involved since the initial takeover. 

Jordania later suggested Chelsea were preventing Vitesse from making a push for the Champions League – UEFA rules state clubs must be ‘independently owned and run’ in their competitions – though later retracted the claims.

Encouraged by Eredivisie clubs upset by Vitesse’s tie-up with Chelsea, the Dutch FA (KNVB) twice investigated but could not find proof of a financial connection or managerial influence from Abramovich, who was forced to sell Chelsea last year after being sanctioned by the UK Government.

Chelsea and England midfielder Mason Mount spent the 2017-18 campaign on loan at Vitesse

Chelsea loaned 29 players in total to Vitesse. Technical staff from both clubs also knew each other well, ensuring the Blues did not just park their young players in Holland but were able to pay closer attention to their development than a usual loan.

Though it was always maintained that they had a close relationship with Vitesse as they had with a number of other clubs.

Chelsea, now under new ownership, and Abramovich’s lawyer declined to comment. The KNVB were also contacted for comment while UEFA were satisfied that the situation did not need reviewing as the two clubs did not play in the same competition.

Vitesse said in a statement: ‘Vitesse had no knowledge of the way in which this company [Marindale] was financed. Vitesse itself has not had any loan agreements.’

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