Chelsea have unveiled the composition of their new board of directors, with Todd Boly replacing Bruce Buck as chairman, and have confirmed the departure of Marina Granovskaya.
Granovskaya’s departure highlights the change at Stamford Bridge since Roman Abramovich sold the club to a consortium led by Boehly and Clearlake Capital less than a month ago. The Russian-Canadian chief has effectively run Chelsea on behalf of Abramovich in recent years and has been in charge of transfers and player contracts. She is close to head coach Thomas Tuchel and has a reputation for being a tough negotiator with agents and clubs.
Chelsea have stated that Granovskaya will continue to offer assistance until the end of this transfer window. But her departure will place more responsibility on Pain as the co-owner will act as athletic director until a replacement is found. “We thank Marina for her many years of impeccable service to the club and wish her all the best in her future endeavors,” said Boli.
There has been a marked change in Chelsea’s approach to transfers. They did not rest when they learned about Romelu Lukaku’s desire to return to Internationale. Boli took over negotiations with Inter, who agreed in principle to pay £7m plus surcharges to sign Lukaku on loan after deciding it would be counterproductive to deny the striker a move.
Lukaku, who took a massive pay cut to join Inter, has been hit hard by a £97.5m move to Chelsea last summer. He struggled to fit into Thomas Tuchel’s system and openly longed for a return to Inter. Tuchel backed the exit, and Boely, co-owner of the LA Dodgers, is keen to support the German.
There was a desire to sort out the situation with Lukaku as quickly as possible. It hasn’t turned into a saga and the challenge for Chelsea will now be to step up their attack, with a prominent target on Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, and move quickly in the transfer market. It will be interesting to see what impact Petr Cech, technical and performance advisor, will have this summer. The former Chelsea goalkeeper worked closely with Granovskaya, and insiders praised his intelligence and hard work.
It remains to be hoped that Chelsea, who intend to provide Tuchel with significant signing funds, can act decisively after the announcement of their new board of directors. Buck, a polarized figure in recent years, has agreed to step down at the end of this month. The American was named chairman after Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003.
“As the guardians of Chelsea Football Club, we are embarking on our long-term vision and plan for the club, creating an outstanding experience for its passionate, dedicated supporters and continuing to compete for top honors in keeping with Chelsea Football Club’s rich history,” Boeli said. . said. “Working together, side by side, we are determined to win both on and off the field. For us, that effort has begun.”
The new board includes Behdad Egbali and José E. Feliciano, co-owners of Chelsea and founding partners of Clearlake; Mark Walter, CEO and co-founder of Guggenheim Partners; Hansjorg Wyss, Swiss billionaire; Jonathan Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of Cain International; Barbara Charone, famous publicist; Daniel Finkelstein, fellow Conservative and Times columnist; and James Paid, Partner and Managing Director of Clearlake Capital.
Goldstein, who is listed as part owner of the club, is a British property developer and gives Chelsea a presence in London. His knowledge of the real estate world could prove vital in trying to renovate Stamford Bridge.
Ehbali and Feliciano declared their determination to continue investing in the women’s team, offering support to highly respected manager Emma Hayes. “As a new era of Boehly-Clearlake ownership begins, we are excited to create a championship organization and develop Chelsea as a global platform,” they said. “We look forward to supporting Thomas Tuchel, Emma Hayes and their teams and will provide strong and relentless support to make our dedicated Chelsea fans and our partners proud.”