Dutch club relegated after 18-POINT deduction amid links to Roman Abramovich

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Vitesse Arnhem have been docked 18 points and relegated from the Eredivisie amid investigation into ties with former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

The KNVB, the governing body of Dutch football, imposed the massive deduction after investigators found that the club persistently fell short of meeting the requirements of licensing regulations over an extended period.

Furthermore, according to The Guardian, the licensing committee concluded that there were "indications" that Abramovich had either controlled or still had control of Vitesse.

Vitesse have had longstanding ties to Chelsea which Abramovich owned for nearly 20 years.

On many occasions, players from the Blues would be loaned to the Dutch outfit to help them develop or to be put them in the shop window.

Such a case went ahead when academy graduate Mason Mount was looking to break into the first team, joining Vitesse on loan during the 2017/18 season.

It turned out to be the making of Mount, who had a fine campaign where he scored 14 times in 39 appearances, earning the club's Player of the Year award and appearing in the Eredivisie Team of the Year.

READ MORE: 'Roman Abramovich's 'Russian mafia moves' led me joining Chelsea over Man Utd'

Meanwhile, the 18-point deduction has seen Vitesse's points tally plummet to -1, and has thus condemned them to their first year in the Dutch second division in 35 years.

The Dutch side were already at risk of relegation after a less than impressive season but their fate has now been sealed, with interim general manager Edwin Reijntjes stating the punishment was "inevitable."

Although this is a dark day for everything and everyone who cares about Vitesse, this is the harsh reality. After all, such a punishment was inevitable.

On the other hand - and I really want to make this clear to everyone - we are extremely happy with the opportunity that is being offered to us to retain our licence. This too was hanging by a thread.

However, it is clear in the response of the Licensing Committee that there is confidence in the club's new direction. We cling to that and we will continue with it.

I said it before: Vitesse should not and cannot disappear!

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Despite the possibility of appealing against the decision, Vitesse have confirmed that they will instead focus on retaining their football license.

READ MORE: Roman Abramovich admits regret at buying Chelsea

Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in March 2022, Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government and had his assets frozen.

The 57-year-old was also forced to sell Chelsea to a consortium led by American billionaire Todd Boehly for £4.25 billion in May 2022.

The Blues are also under investigation by the Premier League for events that took place under Abramovich's rule at the club.

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