Mar 28, 2023 at 10:40 PMUpdate: a minute ago
Vitesse has to do without general director Pascal van Wijk for the time being. The driver has been at home sick since last week because the stadium troubles have become too much for him, the club reports on Tuesday.
Vitesse has been fighting a conflict with Michael van de Kuit for months, who owns the GelreDome with his real estate company Nedstede. The club canceled the lease in 2018 because the Arnhemmers consider the rent of 2.15 million euros per year too high. More than four years later, no new agreement has yet been concluded.
As a result, Vitesse is in big trouble. The club does not yet have a stadium for next season. If that is still not the case before April 11, the licensing committee of the KNVB will take the professional license from Vitesse. That means that after almost 131 years, the existence of the professional club will come to an end.
Van Wijk spent months negotiating with Van de Kuit about a new agreement, but recently Van de Kuit refused to talk further with Van Wijk and also Chairman Henk Parren of the Supervisory Board. Parren then resigned his position at the beginning of this month. So now Van Wijk follows.
Commercial director Peter Rovers will take over Van Wijk’s duties for the time being. “Of course we all hope that Pascal will get better soon,” says Rovers. Peter van Bussel temporarily replaces Parren on the Supervisory Board.
‘Confidence in agreement on stadium’
The negotiations on a new rental contract are being conducted on behalf of Vitesse by Coley Parry for the time being. That’s remarkable. The American stepped forward with his investment company Common Group in September to take over Vitesse, but the KNVB has still not approved the intended takeover. Formally, Parry has nothing to say in Arnhem.
According to Vitesse, a new stadium agreement is near. “Major steps are being taken towards an agreement,” says Rovers in an update on behalf of the management. “We have been working hard in recent days to get things on paper. We are confident that we will reach an agreement in the coming days.”
About a hundred fans got a story from the board members on Tuesday evening at the training complex at Papendal after the KNVB deadline was announced. Vitesse is currently in a major crisis.
The club is not without an owner, stadium and general manager, but is also fighting against relegation in the Eredivisie and, to make matters worse, will also lose main sponsor eToro after this season. According to Rovers, he, Parry and the new commissioner Peter van Bussel had a “good and open” conversation with the fans.
The takeover by Parry is taking longer than expected because the share transfer had to be adjusted in recent months, Vitesse said. The new documents will be delivered to the license committee of the KNVB this week. “It remains a long process, but nevertheless Coley Parry as the intended owner has stated that he will not let our club fall,” says Rovers.
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