Vitesse threatens short-term loss of pro license due to stadium dispute
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The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) is threatening to revoke Vitesse’s professional license in the near future. The revocation of the license has to do with the fact that Vitesse does not yet have an agreement on the rental of Gelredome stadium.
Because revoking the license could have disastrous consequences for the Arnhem club, Vitesse is again going to court. This is confirmed by one of Vitesse’s lawyers to Omroep Gelderland.
The club hopes to enforce the right to play in Gelredome through a so-called turbo court hearing on April 7. The Arnhemmers lost summary proceedings in February and have also already had two hearings in proceedings on the merits about the perpetual right to play.
In the grounds of the summary proceedings, the court stated quite clearly that the right to continue playing at Gelredome in perpetuity probably no longer exists. A ruling in the proceedings on the merits will only follow next month. But that is too late for the Arnhem club.
Clubs must, according to regulations, let the soccer association know no later than February whether they have “a stadium in the Netherlands for playing matches organized as part of professional football competitions.” If a club fails to do so, its license is at stake.
So that is now the case. Vitesse has already been granted a reprieve until April 11. A playing venue must be known by then.
Underlying the termination of Vitesse’s lease was the fact that the agreement would be tacitly extended for as many as 20 years, until Oct. 1, 2043.
Vitesse refuses to pay owner Nedstede the rent of over 2 million euros per year any longer when the current contract expires this September. The Arnhemmers consider that price not in line with the market, thus a conflict arose.
The intended American owner of Vitesse Coley Parry, who is still waiting for permission from the KNVB to run the club, already held talks with the owner of Gelredome. But in the end there is no deal yet.