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Americans are eyeing Vitesse | Football

American venture capitalists are booming in European football. Earlier this year, ADO Den Haag already came into American hands. The club from the Kitchen Champion Division has been taken over by billionaire David Blitzer of the Bolt Group, which also has clubs in several countries. Besides ADO also the German FC Augsburg, the English Crystal Palace and the Belgian Waasland-Beveren. An American party is also competing in the takeover battle for NAC Breda: Global Football Corporation.

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Since the takeover of Manchester United by the Glazers, American investors have increasingly turned their attention to European football. Investing in sports clubs is becoming increasingly difficult in our own country, because huge sums have to be put on the table, while in Europe access to the market can be gained for much smaller investments. After top clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, AC Milan and Fiorentina had an American owner, this is now also happening with less highly regarded clubs such as Aston Villa, Burnley, KV Oostende, Standard Liège, FC Bologna and Parma. The Platek brothers also move in that echelon

The Americans seem to be aiming for a management change in the event of a Vitesse takeover, which would be annoying, especially for commercial director Peter Rovers and the recently appointed technical director Benjamin Schmedes. General director Pascal van Wijk has already indicated that he wants to resign from his director position.

Vitesse has been up for sale since last month, because the Russian owner Valeriy Oyf is forced to take a step back because of the war in Ukraine and the consequences it has for Russians in Western Europe. It was previously announced that real estate entrepreneur Michael van de Kuit, the owner of Nedstede, the firm that has the Gelredome in its portfolio, is interested in taking over Vitesse. The Amsterdammer is not very fond of football, but does see the advantages of the synergy between stadium and football club in one hand. Van de Kuit previously also reported interest from the Qataris who are behind Paris Saint-Germain to take over Vitesse, but no confirmation has been made.

Vitesse has been in Russian hands since 2010. Initially, the Georgian Merab Jordania held sway at the Arnhem club, after which the Russian Alexander Chigirinsky took over in 2013 and Oyf took over in 2018. All are people from the network of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who previously announced that he was going to sell his shares in the London club. That process has been halted after Abramovich, a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was subjected to severe sanctions in England. That fate has not (yet) befallen Oyf, who is an old college friend of Abramovich and made his fortune in the trade in oil, gas and gold, but the Russian born in Odessa, Ukraine, has decided to distance himself from Vitesse and the club for sale. A solution must be found for the debt of 150 million. It is expected that Oyf will have to take its loss in order to recover part of the invested money. Insiders estimate the value of Vitesse at a maximum of 20 million euros. The Platek brothers previously paid 25 million euros for Spezia Calcio.

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