• Loading stock data...
Sunday, July 21, 2024
Join us this September for Tuned In Request to Attend

Former Chelsea Owner Secretly Funded Takeover of Dutch Club

  • Roman Abramovich, the former owner of Chelsea, bankrolled a Dutch team for a decade.
  • The team was owned by a succession of oligarchs with ties to Abramovich.
Sanctioned former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich

Chelsea’s former owner had deeper tentacles in European soccer than previously known.

Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch who was forced to sell his Premier League club by the U.K. government after Russia invaded Ukraine, secretly funded the takeover of Vitesse Arnhem, a top-division club in the Netherlands, according to the Guardian. 

The oligarch proceeded to bankroll the Dutch club for years after, loaning it $127.6 million by 2015.

This financial arrangement came to light in what are being called the Oligarch Files, a cache of leaked data from a Cyprus-based offshore service provider called MeritServus.

Former Georgian player Merab Jordania, who is friendly with Abramovich, bought Vitesse Arnhem in 2010. Chelsea loaned many players to Vitesse Arnhem over the next decade.

Jordania, who owns Maltese club Valletta FC, left Vitesse Arnhem in 2013 and was replaced by another associate of Abramovich’s, Alexander Chigirinsky. 

A Chelsea FC banner is waved over the field at Stamford Bridge stadium.

Chelsea FC Reports $149M Net Loss Due to Sanctions

Sanctions against previous Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich financially restricted the club.
March 27, 2023

Another Russian oligarch close to Abramovich, Valeriy Oyf, became majority shareholder in 2018. In March 2022, Oyf said he would resign from the team’s board and sell his shares in light of the Russia-initiated war.

The Royal Netherlands Football Association investigated the team’s connections to Chelsea in 2010 and 2015 but found no indications of managerial influence over the Dutch club.

Chelsea was taken over by the U.K. government and sold to a group led by Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers, and Sparks co-owner Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital in a deal worth more than $5 billion, factoring in the team purchase itself and promised investments.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

An artistic rendering of the new proposed Everton stadium in Liverpool.

Déjà Vu: Everton Loses Takeover Bid From U.S. Investor

The Premier League club is back on the hunt for a new owner.

St. Pete Approves $1.3 Billion Rays Stadium, Ending Relocation Rumors

St. Petersburg’s city council formally approves the MLB club’s $1.3 billion stadium plan.

WBD at a Crossroads: NBA Rights Decision Could Determine Its Future

Financial analysts argue for a large-scale overhaul of the TNT Sports parent company.

Open Championship CEO Raises Alarm Over Golf’s Financial Future

The Open Championship is offering a record $17 million purse.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

‘EA Sports College Football 25’: It’s More Than a Game


Featured Today

July 20, 2024

The Road to the Return of ‘EA Sports College Football’

This summer, the biggest development in college sports is virtual.
Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected with the number one overall pick to the Indiana Fever during the 2024 WNBA Draft at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
July 16, 2024

Women’s Sports Merch Is a $4 Billion Market, but Supply Isn’t Meeting Demand

Retailers can’t make women’s sports apparel fast enough.
Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.
July 14, 2024

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.

‘Baseless Corporate Conspiracy’: Hedge Fund Heats Up Feud Between NBA Owners

The Mat Ishbia–Dan Gilbert feud has exploded into view this week.
March 14, 2024

Chiefs’ President Threatens Team Could Leave Kansas City If Voters Don’t Give It Money

The Hunt family’s cheapness continues to show after Super Bowl title.
March 25, 2024

Tony Clark Appears to Be Winning Fight Over Baseball’s Union

Some players had recently called for the removal of Clark’s top negotiator.

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
February 15, 2024

IRS to Start Auditing Sports Owners

Audit increase comes with the agency’s increased enforcement budget.
Theo Epstein
February 2, 2024

Theo Epstein Returns Home, Joins Fenway Sports Group

The 50-year-old will serve as a senior adviser to the ownership group.
January 24, 2024

Former Tottenham Owner Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Charges

Tottenham is worth $2.8 billion and owned by Lewis’s family trust.
Mark Cuban and Dallas Mavericks.
November 28, 2023

Adelson Family Freed Up $2B To Reportedly Buy Stake In Dallas Mavericks

Miriam Adelson is selling a portion of her Las Vegas Sands Corp stock.