Players of Dutch club Vitesse donate their salaries in attempt to keep club alive

Desperate Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem have turned to crowdfunding in a bid to retain the club's license to play next season and raised over one million euros by Friday, with the club's players donating their salaries to the cause.

Vitesse were relegated from the top flight for the first time in 35 years this season after an 18-point deduction imposed by the Dutch football association for persistent breaches of their licensing conditions and providing incorrect information to authorities.

Vitesse did not appeal the sanction but face a race against time to retain their license to compete at a professional level next season.

Reports in the Netherlands say they have until the next license committee meeting on May 17 to meet certain criteria, with debts of $20.35 million.

The club does not have to raise that amount, but must prove they have a sustainable plan for the future.

"Donations are coming in from every nook and cranny," Vitesse captain Marco van Ginkel told the club’s website. "Of course, we as a group cannot lag behind.

"That is why we have all decided to make a salary sacrifice to the club. We also hope to make a nice contribution. On to the two million!"

(Reporting by Nick Said)

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