Dutch professional football club Vitesse that won 2-0 against Alkmaar’s AZ in the national Cup final two weeks ago and therefore secured qualification for the group phase of the Europa League may face new financial problems. The reason is that its owner Alexander Chigirinskiy has run into some legal complications.
This victory became Vitesse’s first major success in its 125-year history. Before that, it had lost three times in the Royal Dutch Football Association Cup finals. The Cup victory automatically qualifies Vitesse for the group phase of the Europa League next season. However, team’s rather turbulent finances may cast a shadow over its participation in the upcoming tournament. The club operates with millions in losses every year, even despite manager Joost de Wit’s continuous efforts to curb expenditures.
By the time Russian businessman Alexander Chigirinskiy purchased the club in 2013, Vitesse had already been incurring losses. Its net loss in 2012/13 was €24.5 mln. Over the next season, the financial situation didn’t improve much with Vitesse’s net loss lowering to no more than €19.5 mln. The football club managed to reduce the figure to €4 mln by selling players. Total losses over three seasons in 2011-2014 amounted to €51.7 mln. Later Vitesse announced a €10.5 mln loss over the 2014/15 season.
The club’s owner Alexander Chigirinskiy has recently been confronted with some legal issues in Cyprus. A court in Limassol arrested his assets on $170.8 mln. In accordance with the court’s ruling, the businessman is prohibited from spending more than $15 thousand per month, that includes expenditures of all his companies.
At the end of the day, it may hamper Vitesse’s ability to pay the bills. If Chigirinskiy continues to experience failures in business, it can bring the team to the verge of disaster. Selling the club could become the only available alternative.