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Chelsea and Vitesse


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  • 1 month later...

""Chelsea loan star youngsters go Dutch as part of Roman Abramovichs grand plan" - Rory Smith, The Times


Dozens of cameras were poised, waiting to capture the first glimpse of the mystery man. It was six weeks since Alexander Chigirinsky, as publicity-shy as most Russian property and oil magnates tend to be, had taken full control of Vitesse Arnhem, the Netherlands oldest top-flight club. He was due to visit his new investment on December 1, when his side hosted Cambuur Leeuwarden in the Eredivisie.

A moment later, the 48-year-old appeared, standing at the front of his private box in the GelreDome, beaming at the crowd. That answered one question, but it raised another. Standing next to him, elegantly attired, was an equally enigmatic figure: Marina Granovskaia, a board member at Chelsea, Roman Abramovichs most trusted lieutenant and possibly the most powerful woman in football.

Granovskaia is not the first Chelsea representative to have been seen at the GelreDome this season. Michael Emenalo, the clubs technical director, and Piet de Visser, Abramovichs long-time adjutant, have both been frequent attendees in Vitesses boardroom.

That is no great surprise, of course, since six of the squad which has propelled Vitesse to the top of the Eredivisie belong to Chelsea.

Sam Hutchinson, Cristián Cuevas, Patrick van Aanholt and Gal Kakuta all form part of Peter Boszs squad, but it is Christian Atsu, the Ghana forward, signed from Porto last summer, and Lucas Piazón, the Brazil Under-17 playmaker, who have caught the eye the most so far. Both scored in the 6-2 win away to PSV Eindhoven two weeks ago which signalled that, as the Dutch league prepares for its winter break, Vitesse could well win the first title in their 120-year history.

No wonder, then, that Vitesse have been nicknamed "Chelsea B" or "Cobham East" by some rival supporters. The ties that bind the two sides run deep, and extend farther than the pitch. They date back to 2010, when Vitesse struggling with debt were taken over by Merab Jordania, a former Georgia midfielder who had somehow accrued a fortune measured in billions through player agency and negotiating broadcast rights.

Jordania a friend of Abramovich promised Champions League football within three years. He built a £10 million training ground and wiped out almost £20 million of debt. His investment is said to total around £80 million, but there was always a suspicion he was a frontman for the real money. When he transferred his shares to Chigirinsky in October claiming the Russian "had always supported him" that theory gained weight.

Chigirinsky is even closer to Abramovich. The two are partners in Snegiri, the property developer, in which Chigirinsky owns 60 per cent and Abramovich 16 per cent.

"We are glad that they are friends," says Stef ten Thij, of the Vitesse Supporters Club. "It means we are able to get players at Vitesse that we would never be able to afford otherwise."

Given the success they have enjoyed, it is no surprise that Vitesses fans have welcomed the link. "You have to remember where we were," he says. "We could have been in the second or third division. Now? Now what is the worst case scenario? We become an average club again. It is remarkable what we have achieved, and we are very grateful."

The link, though, has given rise to fears that Vitesse may become nothing more than a feeder club. Anxiety deepened this summer when De Visser suggested he had made his opinions known as to who Vitesse may like to appoint as their coach: "I have given them two names and expect them to follow my advice".

Joost de Wit, the clubs chief executive, admitted last month that Bosz consults Emenalo on "matters related to players" and he discusses "board issues" with Granovskaia. There have even been whispers that Chelsea have expressed their dissatisfaction at the lack of playing time afforded to some of their loan prodigies, but Vitesse are adamant that the West London club have no influence on their day-to-day operations. Both teams insist their relationship is entirely informal.

For Ten Thij, such concerns are unfounded. "There is a member of the supporters club on the board," he said. "We have meetings with the executive board. We can raise our concerns when we like. We are not worried."

Others, though, are. The Dutch FA, the KNVB, admits an investigation into the link with Chelsea found that there was no formal agreement, but it did find it "difficult" to establish the exact source of the money invested in Vitesse. There is a suggestion denied that Abramovich is the power behind the throne.

There have been no formal complaints about the situation, but a number of Eredivisie clubs are believed to have raised concerns privately. Vitesse and Chelsea clearly benefit from the arrangement but there is a suspicion it is to the detriment of Dutch football.

Nijmegen, Vitesses local rivals, and Ajax have hinted at displeasure, claiming the arrangement gives Vitesse an unfair ability to bolster their squad while circumventing the Netherlands stringent Financial Fair Play rules. That is unlikely to deter Chelsea, or Vitesse. Formal or not, Vitesse form a part of Abramovichs grand plan to dominate European football. They are happy to be along for the ride."

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  • 5 months later...

Interesting Article today in WAGNH


Roman Abramovich's company is Vitesse Arnhem's new shirt sponsor

By Jake Cohen  @JakeFCohen on Jun 4 2014, 1:51p 10

Truphone is a London-based mobile telecommunications company, and in February 2013, Abramovich purchased a 23.3% stake for £70m.

We went into considerable detail last month on how the sponsorship deal affects the relationship between Chelsea and Vitesse, and it's worth reposting excerpts now that the deal is official.

The deal replaces the similarly named Youfone as Vitesse's shirt sponsor. Vitesse went without a shirt sponsor for much of this season and picked up Youfone for the second half of the season.

Peter Gansler, Vitesse's commercial director and chief marketing officer, attended the University of Notre Dame as an undergraduate, received his MBA from the University of Chicago (both excellent schools), and worked for adidas in international marketing before being hired by Vitesse in November 2012. This is all to say that he has the education and experience necessary to go out and land a lucrative long-term shirt sponsorship deal.

I strongly believe that Gansler and the other decision-makers at the club intentionally held off on signing a long-term deal with anyone because there was some homogenisation with Marina Granovskaia and Chelsea's sponsors in the works (and I speculated as much a while back). I had originally thought Vitesse might try to land Samsung or one of Chelsea's other primary sponsors, but the Truphone deal certainly makes sense as well.

The Truphone sponsorship may be classified as a related-party transaction (RPT) under UEFA's financial fair play regulations.

Essentially, a related-party transaction is a deal between parties that have a prior relationship. It is an international accounting term, and the financial fair play regulations dealing with RPT's is copied almost verbatim from the International Accounting Standards Board.

As relates to FFP and the Truphone deal, Annex X(E)(3)(b) likely controls here -

Entities will be considered related parties where,

One entity is an associate or joint venture of the other entity (or an associate or joint venture of a member of a group of which the other entity is a member)

Here, one entity (Abramovich and Truphone) will be engaged in a joint venture -- Chigirinsky and Abramovich both own large shares (sixty and sixteen percent, respectively) of a Russian property development company called Snegiri -- with another entity (Chigirinsky and Vitesse).

With regards to financial fair play, there is absolutely nothing wrong with RPTs in and of itself. The issue is with ensuring that each related-party transaction is for fair value, and this is why PSG found itself in trouble.

Article 58.4 states that "relevant income and expenses from related parties must be adjusted to reflect the fair value of any such transactions." This means that if an owner overpays for sponsorships, tickets, etc., the value of the transaction will be adjusted down to fair market value when UEFA starts reviewing the financials of each club.

For some perspective on what "fair value" might entail, Ajax received between £8-10 million per year from Dutch insurance company Aegon for a shirt sponsorship deal (the deal concludes at the end of this season). Given that Ajax is a much bigger club than Vitesse, it's reasonable to conclude that this would be the absolute ceiling for the Vitesse - Truphone deal in terms of annual revenue.

£6 million per year is a much more reasonable projection, and this still represents a huge windfall for Vitesse. The club earned a mere £9.5m in 2012-13 (however, that number will more than triple in 2013-14 just on the strength of the Marco van Ginkel and Wilfried Bony sales) and lost over £20m.

This deal is very likely Roman Abramovich's way of helping Vitesse's financial fair play situation. While the club certainly doesn't need the money, as Alexander Chigirinsky extremely wealthy in his own right, Vitesse could certainly use the profit on the balance sheet - note the distinction. Even though the deal may be considered a related-party transaction, the deal will fully comply with UEFA's financial fair play regulations as long as the deal reflects the fair market value for a shirt sponsorship.

This deal should also put to rest any lingering notion that Chelsea does not want Vitesse in the Champions League. Roman Abramovich and Chelsea already loan Vitesse some of their very best prospects, and are now handing Vitesse a lucrative sponsorship deal to ensure that they remain eligible when they do eventually earn their Champions League spot. In addition, Chelsea has a vested interest in seeing Vitesse succeed, as the opportunity to offer its loanees European football would be unparalleled, and would give Chelsea an enormous advantage over every other club in the world when it comes to recruiting sought-after young talent.

Finally, the Truphone deal cements the already-solid relationship between Chelsea and Vitesse. If there are any Chelsea supporters that haven't been paying attention to the Arnhem club, it's time to start.

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Talking about Vitesse Arnhem. Last year - and I think they've done it in previous years - they did a wonderful tribute to members of Airborne Division who took part in Operation Market Garden in September 1944. I suspect they'll do the same this year as it's the 70th anniversary. As partof the tribute they changed their shirt colours and wore the Pegasus badge - as worn by Airborne Division.




Vitesse Pay Tribute to British Paratroopers of World War II



September 22, 2013 by Sean Charles

As we mentioned over the last week, Dutch club Vitesse planned to pay tribute in their home match against PEC Zwolle to the British paratroopers involved in the attempted liberation of their city Arnhem during Operation Market Garden in September 1944, this is an update on how the day went. Veterans of the British 1st Airbourne Division were welcomed to the match and the Vitesse support even unveiled a tifo featuring the colours of the regiment with the famous Nijmegen Bridge in the background of their display.


The Dutch side opted away from their typical yellow and black strip to dawn the claret and blue colours of the British 1st Airbourne Division for the commemoration. Emblazoned on the strips was the phrase ‘No Bridge Too Far’, in reference to the star-studded 1977 film A Bridge Too Far based on the events of the previously mentioned Allied mission.


Read more: http://www.footandball.net/vitesse-pay-tribute-british-paratroopers-world-war-ii/#ixzz33gMMBs3t

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