The Chelsea/Vitesse story, according to Dutch media reports.

The Dutch FA is investigating the Chelsea/Vitesse connection and something with threats, bans, police and a lot of secrets revealed.

People involved
Roman Abramovic – Chelsea owner
Alexander Chigirinski – Vitesse owner (friends with Roman)
Merab Jordania – former Vitesse owner
Joost de Wit – Vitesse director
Fred Rutten – former Vitesse manager
Ted van Leeuwen – former Vitesse technical director

Background information
– Chelsea and Vitesse reached an agreement (somewhere in 2010) to loan Chelsea players to Vitesse. It would give the players experience and improve Vitesse’s chances in the Eredivisie (Dutch Premier League). In return Chelsea has first refusal on any talents coming from Vitesse (Van Ginkel).
– Vitesse were about to sign Kelvin Leerdam, but pulled out.
– Rutten left Vitesse after the 2012/2013 season.
– Bony sold to Swansea in summer 2013.
– Ted van Leeuwen fired in September 2013.
– Jordania sold Vitesse to Chigirinski in October 2013.
– Chigirinski appoints Mohammed Allach as new technical director.

Jordania and De Wit – The threats, the ban and the Dutch police
On Sunday March 30 Dutch paper De Telegraaf reported that former Vitesse owner Merab Jordania had received a 3 year ban from Vitesse. The reason for the ban was a conflict between Jordania and Vitesse director Joost de Wit. De Wit pressed charges against Jordania (who threatened him), after discussing it with Chelsea.

On Monday March 31 Dutch paper De Telegraaf published a story with the headline “Jordania laughs at “threats”” – claiming Jordania was so angry with the way De Wit ran the club and the role the board played during his clash with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic, that he verbally attacked the Vitesse director.
De Wit told the police in Arnhem that Jordania thought he could miss a few fingers. Jordania laughed when he was told De Wit experienced his angry outburst as a serious threat, refusing to give a statement Jordania said “Everything is being destroyed in Arnhem. I will tell my side of the story later.”
However, De Wit felt threatened and the Dutch police gave him a ‘panic-button’, which he can use if he feels threatened. De Wit also complained to Chelsea’s board. As a result of that and with help from Chelsea and Chigirinski, Vitesse has banned Jordania from the stadium.

On Tuesday April 1 De Telegraaf published yet another story, this time with the headline “5 times sorry for Jordania” -in this article Jordania talks about March 17 when he spent several hours at the police station because of De Wit’s accusations.
Jordania: “I don’t think they expected me to show up. At first people wanted to take pictures with me. After that they said ‘sorry’ five times. They thought it was a bit embarrassing that they pressed charges against me because of an emotional outburst at work.”
Jordania was formally arrested for a few hours. “The officer said he was sorry for having to do this to me. I had to hand over my belongings and take off my belt. I told them the truth. Yes, I did say something at the club, but of course it wasn’t serious.”
Jordania only found out yesterday (March 31) that he had hired a few ‘tough guys’ according to rumours. “It made me laugh. I honestly thought someone was trying to wind me up. Then my son came home with the same story. I don’t even want to react to this, otherwise it’ll turn into a drama-filled show.”
At the police station Jordania was handed a letter from De Wit, saying he was banned from the stadium for 36 months and could get arrested if he does show up. “Maybe De Wit can’t help it. I never judged him. I thought he and the other directors weren’t that important,  they only do what ‘London’ orders them to do.”

Jordania’s side of the story
In an exclusive interview (published on Tuesday April 1) with De Telegraaf Jordania told his side of the story. Main points of the interview:
– Chelsea forced Vitesse to not win the Eredivisie.
– Though on paper Chigirinski owns Chelsea, Abramovic is the one in charge.
– If Vitesse wins the Dutch league and Chelsea fails to win the English league,  Vitesse would be playing Champions league and Chelsea wouldn’t be allowed in (assuming the story about Abramovic being in charge is true). This because UEFA rules state two clubs from one owner can’t compete in the same league.
– De Wit told Dutch police Jordania threatened to cut his fingers off. According to Jordania he only said that to prevent De Wit from publishing an article on the club’s website stating there was no need for Vitesse to become champions, something Jordania didn’t agree with. Jordania publicly stated he would try to make Vitesse champions and refused to take that back, which was exactly what De Wit was trying to achieve. Jordania states he now understands De Wit was only following orders from ‘London’.
– De Wit hired an advertisement agency to tell the world/fans Vitesse weren’t chasing the title, but will be happy with “modest ambition”.
– Former Vitesse manager Rutten already knew in January that Vitesse wouldn’t be allowed to win the Dutch league, which was part of the reason why he left.
– Vitesse tried to sign Kelvin Leerdam in 2013, the deal was nearly done until Chelsea blocked it because Vitesse couldn’t get too strong. Jordania couldn’t explain to Rutten what had happened and why, because he needed to cover the club and ‘London’. Rutten was furious and lost 7 points during that time, causing Vitesse to miss out on another league title.
– Jordania said he tried to keep Bony for another 6 months, to ensure a strong start of the season, but De Wit had the paperwork ready. Bony had to go.

Jordania and Van Leeuwen – Chelsea’s calling the shots
On Tuesday April 1 (a lot happened on April 1, despite the date none of these articles turned out to be an April Fools joke, though this was also Vitesse’s reaction to the story: “Is this some, extremely bad, April Fools joke? Like any other club Vitesse wants to win as many games as possible, by playing football.”) former technical director Ted van Leeuwen was interviewed by NOS. He -more or less- agreed with Jordania. Van Leeuwen: “For Chelsea the only thing that matters is the development of their own players and that doesn’t go with us playing for the title. Who pays, decides. At Vitesse Chelsea decides on most of the players’ salaries. So I do think Chelsea is in charge.”
Van Leeuwen, who left Vitesse in September 2013, wonders if Chelsea literally stated that Vitesse can’t become champions. However, with former manager Rutten he did get the feeling this was the case. Chelsea also clearly influenced the transfers. “We were initially allowed to purchase 3 players in January. Eventually we could only buy one: Kelvin Leerdam. That transfer was prohibited in the last half hour of the January transfer window. Leerdam could’ve been too strong of a competition for the Chelsea players on loan at Vitesse.”

On Wednesday April 2 Jordania made public that he never wanted Van Leeuwen to leave. “Peter Bosz (current Vitesse manager) didn’t want it either. Van Leeuwen was for me as the owner, but also for Rutten the year before, important. But ‘London’ decided he had to go.”
According to Chelsea he (Van Leeuwen) would’ve been too stubborn. He was simply supposed to listen to Chelsea, but Van Leeuwen refused to do that.
Van Leeuwen thinks the sensational development of the team with Jordania surprised Chelsea. “In the first year we only had Matic and Rajkovic as London players. They helped us. After that the club has professionally developed, with Rutten in charge Vitesse made the biggest step forward”

The Dutch FA (KNVB)
After Jordania’s story was published, the Dutch FA required answers from Vitesse. The Board of Professional Football will decide after that if the Dutch FA should investigate this any further.
The Dutch FA’s statement on Tuesday April 1:
“After reading the article the board has contacted the Vitesse board of directors. In the interest of the integrity of professional football the Dutch FA have asked Vitesse for an explanation regarding their organisational structure and in which way the club’s decisions are influenced by shareholders and others. (…) When Jordania, and after that Chigirinski, took over, the Dutch FA had requested information on the new owners. Within the sport association sportsmanship and an undisturbed season is important. Ensuring independence, autonomy and continuity of the clubs are main points in the Dutch FA’s policy. (…) A transfer of shares is subject to the notification obligation of professional football clubs. Formally they don’t need approval of the Dutch FA, however, the Dutch FA have asked Vitesse to hand over information on which an assessment could be made to determine whether the new shareholder has any control in other professional football clubs or not. (…) The regulations do not allow a person to have a function with several professional clubs, whether in the Netherlands or abroad, at the same time, this to ensure independence of football clubs. Vitesse also had to hand over a so called Certificate of Good Conduct (or a similar certificate received abroad) to the FA.”
The Dutch FA have made clear they won’t be talking to Jordania any time soon. “The club as member of the Dutch FA is our first point of contact. ”

If Jordania’s story is true and Vitesse aren’t allowed to win the league AND if they are being run by Chelsea this will be the biggest scandal in the 60 year history of Dutch professional football.

Dutch media sources: NOS, De Telegraaf, KNVB and Vitesse.


3 thoughts on “The Chelsea/Vitesse story, according to Dutch media reports.

  1. Most importantly will Chelsea or Abramovic be in any trouble or will they just carry on and pay for silence? The thought of something like relegating and docking them actually makes my hair stand on end. What I wouldn’t give to see their fans faces after something like that!

  2. First of all some (minor) corrections.
    It’s true Vitesse and have a certain affiliation in which Chelsea can send player to Vitesse on loan. That Chelsea has first buy options on all Vitesse players remains uncertain and surely has never been outspoken by either clubs. Marco van Ginkel was transferred to Chelsea simply because Vitesse didn’t want to sell him to Ajax. They didn’t want to make the competition in the league stronger and therefor refused any offer the Amsterdam based club has made.
    Also, Ted van Leeuwen was never fired but was let go after his contract expired at the end of june. He stayed at the club until somewhere around august/september to help Vitesse prepare for the next season and finish unfinished business.
    Now my basic opinion on the matter: I take it all with a pinch of salt. It’s been clear from the start that Vitesse were bound to work together. Back in 2010 we were told Jordania and Abramovich were good friends and that there would be help from London on the form of loaned players. In the first season Chelsea sent four players to Arnhem and that number remained about the same for the seasons after that. In the 2011-2012 season ’we’ also bought Renato Ibarra. A player who has been spotted at Cobham training facility in Londen, a couple of days before signing for Vitesse. It was one of the first signals that this could be more than a regular parent/feeder affiliation. The signing of Christian Atsu had a lot of similarities, also been spotted in London before signing with Vitesse. And Betrand Traore was spotted at the Vitesse training ground about a year before signing his first contract with Chelsea, right after his eighteenth birthday.
    In short: it’s nothing new that the collaboration between Vitesse and Chelsea a little bigger than your average affiliation. However, I refuse to believe Jordania’s statement that Chelsea has forbidden Vitesse to become champions and qualify for the Champions League as a result. It’s been suggested by the media that it was because the club had the same owners and therefor would risk a ban from the FIFA if both clubs would enter in the same competition. Which is actually the only reason I can think of, but it doesn’t make any sense. Vitesse and Chelsea do not have the same owners. At least not on paper. Chigirinsky is the owner of Vitesse and Abramovich the owner of Chelsea FC. Clear as that. In fact, Chigirinsky has been the big investor on the background from the very start. He just didn’t want his name on the door and sent Jordania run the club. So there’s really nothing to fear of when both clubs qualify for the Champions League.
    However, I can understand if Jordania felt like London wouldn’t want to make them league winners. Vitesse was in a very good position in the winter of 2012-2013 but they lacked in squad depth. The team really needed a couple of players to improve that, but investors only allowed Vitesse to sign one player: Kelvin Leerdam from Feyenoord. He had a contract that would run until the summer of 2013 but Vitesse needed him immediately. They quickly reached an agreement with Leerdam, but Feyenoord wanted a big compensation fee if Leerdam was to join Vitesse immediately. The investors refused to pay this ridiculously high fee, and so the deal failed at the last day of the window. Right after the competition resumed Vitesse had a bad run with poor results, mainly because topscorer Wilfried Bony was with Ivory Coast to play in the African Cup of Nations. Jordania might have felt Vitesse lost the title race in that period of the season, but I really don’t think Chelsea pulling the plug on the Leerdam deal was the reason.
    After three seasons investors simply got fed up with the way Jordania ran the club. He spent way more than responsible by paying ridiculous salaries and failed to attract sponsors. In fact, Jordania’s right hand and director, Erwin Kasakowski, did more wrong than good. Sponsors left the business club and Vitesse’s image towards interested partners was far from good. The club needs to be able to walk on its own and without the use of a ’sugar daddy’. Chigirinsky eventually let Jordania finish the season and took over in the summer of 2013. He introduced Joost de Wit and Mo Allach as new director and footballing director to clean up the mess Jordania made during his time at the club. Expensive players like Brazilian footballers Jonathan Reis and the twins Alex and Anderson (who barely played) were offered mutual contract termination and all agreed. Vitesse signed a deal with a (minor) sponsor ’Youfone’ and signed a deal with Macron as kit sponsor for the next season. The club is finally starting to be more healthy and should comply with the financial fair play rules soon enough. The thought of Vitesse relegating because of the things Jordania claims are true, is an odd one in my opinion. Since nobody has any real evidence it’s true, and I think it was just emotions speaking after he was forced out of the club he learned to love over the last couple of years. There’s a rumor I’ve heard from a know journalist that the Jordania interview had been ready for months already, but was carefully planned to hit the papers right before the important match against Ajax. That last part might be a bit far off, but the first part might be true. And if so, it’s quite odd the interview wasn’t released earlier since the newspapers claim it’s such big news.

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