English Premier League giants Chelsea, which financially backs Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem, have been accused of trying to fix the Dutch league.
Former Vitesse owner, Merab Jordania, claimed in the daily De Telegraaf that Chelsea do not want the Dutch club to win the league because both cannot compete in the Champions League as UEFA rules prevents two clubs under the same ownership competing in the same competition.
“In Arnhem, Chelsea is without doubt in control,” former club technical director Ted van Leeuwen was also quoted as saying by the ANP agency.
“Chelsea covers part of the Vitesse payroll and loans a certain number of its players. What counts for Chelsea is the good progress of these players and not that Vitesse are champions,” he said.
This season Vitesse have four players — Lucas Piazon, Bertrand Traore, Patrick van Aanholt and Christian Atsu — on loan from Chelsea while Gael Kakuta and Sam Hutchinson were on loan in January.
Vitesse, who have traditionally battled Ajax Amsterdam at the top of the Dutch league, have won just three of their last 11 matches, with the team coached by Peter Bosz third 12 points behind Ajax and out of contention for the title.
The club’s major shareholder, Russian businessman Alexander Chigrininsky, who is a friend of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovitch, dismissed Jordania’s claims as “lies driven by jealousy”.
A statement from the Dutch Football Federation, KNVB, said they would be looking for “clarification on Mr Jordania’s allegations”.
“The board of directors of the KNVB, section Professional Football, have contacted Vitesse about these claims,” the statement said.
“In the interest of the integrity of the Dutch league, the KNVB is kindly asking Vitesse to give an explanation of their organisational structure and the way it’s working.”