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Roman Abramovich secretly bankrolled Vitesse, show leaked papers

The financial information has come to light in the Oligarch files, a cache of leaked data originating from the Cyprus-based offshore service provider MeritServus

Roman Abramovich

Agencies
Roman Abramovich secretly funded the takeover of a Dutch top division football club and bank-rolled it for years during the period that he also owned Chelsea, leaked documents show, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

Two investigations by the Netherlands football association were unable to uncover any financial ties between Abramovich and the club, Vitesse Arnhem, and concluded that the Russian oligarch had no managerial influence on Vitesse. Both Vitesse under its then owners, and Chelsea under Abramovich, repeatedly denied the oligarch was involved in funding the Dutch club. The financial information has come to light in the Oligarch files, a cache of leaked data originating from the Cyprus-based offshore service provider MeritServus. The documents, reviewed by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, appear to reveal for the first time at least €117m ($126.77) in secret fund­ing from Abramovich for the Vitesse takeover, which flowed through a series of entities regis­tered in opaque offshore tax havens.

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First Published: Mar 29 2023 | 11:50 PM IST

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