June 29, 2022

Chelsea have revealed the composition of their new board, with Todd Boehly succeeding Bruce Buck as chairman, and confirmed the departure of Marina Granovskaia.

Granovskaia’s exit underscores 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 executive had indeed managed Chelsea on Abramovich’s behalf in recent years and was responsible for handling player transfers and contracts. She is close to head coach, Thomas Tuchel, and has a reputation for being a tough negotiator with agents and clubs.

Chelsea have said Granovskaia will continue to offer their help until the end of this transfer window. But his departure will place more responsibilities on Boehly, with the co-owner set to operate as interim sporting director until a replacement is found. “We thank Marina for her many years of excellent service to the club and wish her all the best in her future endeavours,” Boehly said.

There has been a noticeable change in Chelsea’s approach to transfers. They didn’t dig their heels in after learning of Romelu Lukaku’s desire to return to Internazionale. Boehly took charge of negotiations with Inter, who agreed in principle to pay £7m plus add-ons to sign Lukaku on loan, after deciding it would be counterproductive to turn down a move to the attacker.

Lukaku, who is taking a major pay cut to join Inter, struggled a lot after joining Chelsea for £97.5m last summer. He struggled to fit into Thomas Tuchel’s system and openly yearned for a return to Inter. Tuchel backed the move and LA Dodgers co-owner Boehly is keen to back the German.

There was a desire to settle Lukaku’s situation as quickly as possible. It hasn’t turned into a saga and the challenge now will be for Chelsea to strengthen their attack, with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling a top target, and move quickly in the transfer market. It will be interesting to see what influence Petr Cech, the technical and performance advisor, has this summer. The former Chelsea goalkeeper worked closely with Granovskaia, and insiders praised his intelligence and diligence.

Marina Granovskaia with Petr Cech ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Crystal Palace in April. Photography: David Klein/Reuters

The hope will be that Chelsea, who intend to give Tuchel significant funds for signings, can act decisively after announcing their new board. Buck, a polarizing figure in recent years, agreed to step down at the end of this month. The American was named chairman after Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003.

“As Chelsea FC goalkeepers, we now begin to implement our long-term vision and plan for the club, creating an exceptional experience for its passionate and loyal fans, and continuing to fight for the greatest. honors in line with Chelsea FC’s decorated history,” Boehly said. “Working together, side by side, we are firmly committed to winning, both on and off the pitch. For us, that effort has begun.

The new board includes Behdad Eghbali and José E Feliciano, co-owners of Chelsea and founding partners of Clearlake; Mark Walter, CEO and co-founder of Guggenheim Partners; Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss billionaire; Jonathan Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of Cain International; Barbara Charone, a famous publicist; Daniel Finkelstein, peer curator and Times columnist; and James Pade, Partner and Managing Director of Clearlake Capital.

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Goldstein, who is listed as a co-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 essential in attempts to renovate Stamford Bridge.

Both Eghbali and Feliciano have expressed their determination to continue investing in the women’s team, offering their support to highly respected manager Emma Hayes. “As the new era of Boehly-Clearlake ownership begins, we are excited to build a Championship organization and grow Chelsea FC as a global platform,” they said. “We look forward to supporting Thomas Tuchel, Emma Hayes and their teams, and will provide proactive and unwavering support to make loyal Chelsea fans and our partners proud.”

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