Roman Abramovich 'secretly bankrolled club once branded 'Chelsea B' for at least £103million while owning Blues' | The Sun

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH "secretly bankrolled a club once branded 'Chelsea’s B team'", according to reports.

The Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism claim the Russian pumped £103million into Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem during his time as Chelsea owner.

The paper alleges that leaked documents from MeritServus, dubbed the ‘Oligarch files’, appear to show Abramovich helped fund Merab Jordania’s 2010 takeover of Vitesse via numerous entities in offshore tax havens.

It comes after two investigations by the Dutch FA concluded Abramovich had no managerial influence on Vitesse after failing to find any financial ties.

Both Chelsea and Vitesse’s former ownerships repeatedly denied Abramovich’s involvement in funding the Dutch side.

The Eredivisie club boosted the careers of several current Chelsea stars including Mason Mount and Armando Broja.


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Former players like Nemanja Matic and Dominic Solanke also cut their teeth there.

But Vitesse is now reportedly on the brink of collapse over a stadium dispute.

Dutch outlet Gelderlander claims the club faces having its pro licence withdrawn after they cancelled the lease on their ground.

The GelreDome has been at the centre of a row since 2018 as Vitesse objected to annual rent of £1.6m – they had to pay to landlord Michael van de Kuit.

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The club wanted the fee to be reduced by De Kuit was reportedly not in favour of the move.

The stadium lease is officially up at the end of September, giving Vitesse an immediately problem.

They currently would not meet the license requirements for next season.

And the report states that the Dutch FA has threatened to withdraw Vitesse's professional license if there is no clarity on the situation by April 11.

It would be quite an abrupt chapter in the club's 131-year history.

They are managed by former Derby boss Phillip Cocu and have been playing at the GelreDome since 1998.

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