The story of Stichting Betaald Voetbal Vitesse

Some of you will be familiar with Vitesse and will be thinking, isn’t it Vitesse Arnhem? But it’s not – although they do play in Arnhem, the Dutch outfit currently play in the Eredivisie and finished the 2010-11 season in 15th place, just scraping survival.

Like many English clubs, Vitesse were formed after originally being a cricket club and have boasted some big name players in their squad over the years including former Bayern Munich forward Roy Makaay, one-time Liverpool number one Sander Westerveld, ex-Nottingham Forest striker Pierre Van Hooijdonk, former Real Madrid holding midfielder Mahamadou Diarra and Holland legend Philip Cocu.

Twice in their history Vitesse have survived bankruptcy by the skin of their teeth, in the 1980’s and in 2003. They were forced to restructure the club in order to remain in the league.

Former Georgian footballer turned businessman Merab Jordania became owner of the club in August 2010 and stated his ambitions in the club by expressing his desire to win the league within three years.

For a team struggling near the bottom of the table it won’t be easy and with one year down the pressure is now on Vitesse to creep up the table.

Former Chelsea right back Albert Ferrer managed the team to safety last season but has now been relieved of his duties and John van den Brom now holds the reins.

It remains to be seen whether or not Vitesse can spring any surprises and lift any silverware in the not to distant future but with an ambitious owner expect some form of drama.

Nick Houlton

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