Former Vitesse caretaker owner Merab Jordania has begrudgingly apologised for threatening to cut off the fingers of CEO Joost de Wit.
Jordania admits that he's not proud of what happened and is sorry "if de Wit felt threatened." Begrudging, indeed.
De Wit was threatened several times since last October. The threats began when Alexander Chigirinsky, the Russian businessman who financed the entire purchase of the club back in August 2010, forced him to relinquish control of the club.
In a rare public statement, Chigirinsky condemned Jordania's threats against de Wit. The reculsive oligarch made it known that he fully supports the board not only in its decision to ban Jordania from the stadium and training grounds for three years, but also in the general direction the club is headed.
Fortifying an Empire
Back in November, WAGNH took an in-depth look into the nature of the relationship between Chelsea and Vitesse.
This likely came as a blow to Jordania, who had just a few months ago professed to De Telegraaf that Chigirinsky was his "best friend," and "there is nothing but pure friendship between us." Jordania is also an extremely passionate Vitesse supporter, and called and refers to Vitesse as "the best project of his life." He even goes as far to say that he loves Vitesse as much as he loves his child.
Jordania most likely directed his anger towards de Wit, who, of course, had no control over Alexander Chigirinsky's decision to remove Jordania from the club. Jordania's threats to physically mutilate his colleague, the fact that he likely feels betrayed by his best friend and has been forced out of the club he loves, and his questionable past (he had previously been arrested for tax evasion and embezzlement in Georgia) makes him an extremely unreliable source and someone who is most likely lying about the nature of Chelsea's relationship with Vitesse.
Regardless of what you might have heard elsewhere from people who had never heard of Merab Jordania, Alexander Chigirinsky, or Joost de Wit before this week, Chelsea did not ask Vitesse to lose matches and neither club is in any danger of sanctions from anyone. Full stop.
Let's look at the facts - from the 2002-03 through the 2009-10 season, the club’s best finish was seventh place in the Eredivisie and their worst season was sixteenth. Since Chelsea first became involved with Vitesse prior to the 2010-11 season, Vitesse has steadily improved, from fifteenth place in 2010-11, to seventh place in 2011-12, to fourth place in 2012-13, and with four matches to play this season, the club is currently level on points with both Twente and PSV for third place. In addition, the quality of players Chelsea has sent to Vitesse has steadily increased. In fact, Chelsea now sends most of it's best young players to Vitesse.
Vitesse's fortunes have significantly improved since forming the partnership with Chelsea, and each year, Chelsea has sent more (and better quality) resources to Vitesse.
I would like to think this goes without saying, but in case there is any doubt, Chelsea has a vested interested in seeing Vitesse succeed in its goal of earning Champions League football. The ability for Chelsea to offer its loanees a chance to play Champions League football would be unparalleled and would give Chelsea a significant advantage in terms of both the recruitment and the development of young players.
Vitesse manager Peter Bosz is furious at Jordania for lying about the relationship with Chelsea, and has gone as far to say that Jordania's allegations are "a bullshit story." He bristles at the fact that anyone would call the competitive nature of himself or his players into question.
Bosz, like the rest of us who understand the details of this story, is confident that neither Vitesse nor Chelsea have anything to fear from UEFA.
Jordania has certainly made a loud fuss with his fifteen minutes, but the clock is ticking. Vitesse has a huge match with Ajax on Sunday (1:30PM BST, 8:30AM EST), and hopefully by then his time will have run out and the focus will be back on the pitch where it belongs.