Dutch soccer side Vitesse Arnhem have had their professional license revoked by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) governing body effective July 9, prohibiting the club from competing in the 2024-25 season.

This decision, which Vitesse have said they will appeal, comes following Vitesse’s failure to meet financial and regulatory requirements such as providing a balanced budget, maintaining a bank account, and securing an auditing accountant. The appeal process could take several weeks.

This followed the KNVB giving Vitesse several extensions.

If Vitesse’s appeal is rejected, the club will be unable to compete in the Eerste Divisie, Dutch soccer’s second tier next season.

Vitesse would however then be able to take the decision to court.

The KNVB said that “a longer postponement is impossible due to the approaching start of the new football season.”

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The club’s financial troubles are largely down to its ownership issues – in particular since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, 2022- which started when Vitesse's oligarch owner Valeriy Oyf announced his intention to sell the club in March of that year.

Vitesse have since had issues with a complex transfer of ownership involving multiple potential buyers and regulatory hurdles.

One such issue came through reports that Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire who owned English soccer giants Chelsea between 2003 and early 2022, also secretly funded Vitesse during that period, according to leaked files.

Both Vitesse and former Chelsea chair Bruce Buck have denied knowledge of any payments by Abramovich, who was forced to sell Chelsea in summer 2022 after having his UK assets frozen by the government.

The KNVB investigated these links in 2014 but found nothing that conflicted with its own rules.

The links between the two clubs were a matter of conjecture for some time during Abramovich’s time in charge at Chelsea, with Vitesse regularly taking on young Chelsea players in loan deals.

Both Vitesse and Chelsea had Russian owners who were forced to abandon the clubs before the end of the 2021-22 season.

US businessman Coley Parry took over a controlling stake in the Dutch side from Valeriy Oyf, who had been the majority shareholder since 2018.

The club also received an 18-point deduction in April and were relegated from the Eredivisie for the first time in 35 years due to continual breaches of licensing conditions and providing incorrect information to authorities.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are now owned by the Clearlake Capital consortium, headed by US businessman Todd Boehly.