Vitesse launch crowdfunding campaign in bid save club from folding

May 3 – Dutch Eredivisie outfit Vitesse has started a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to retain the club’s professional status.

Vitesse is in deep financial difficulty and has a deadline of two weeks to address the situation. The club is yet to obtain a professional license to enable it compete in next season’s league.

“Let your yellow-black heart speak, just like me,” said John Van den Brom, Vitesse’s manager.

Leo Beenhakker and Lois Openda are other ambassadors who have endorsed the crowdfunding.

The campaign raised €830,000 in the first day, though the Vitesse have debt of about €19 million.

Last month, Vitesse were relegated from the Dutch top tier following an 18-point deduction after an investigation by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) that revealed apparent financial ties between Vitesse and the Russian oligarch and former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

It’s the first time in 35 years that Vitesse will not play in the top flight.

Citing the “exceptional seriousness and extent” of violations by Vitesse, the Dutch FA (KNVB) said it had imposed the record sanction because the club did not meet the requirements of the licensing regulations.

“Although this is a dark day for everything and everyone who cares about Vitesse, this is the harsh reality,” said Vitesse CEO Edwin Reijntjes.

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