Chelsea has revealed the composition of its new board, with Todd Boehly replacing Bruce Buck as chairman, and has confirmed the departure of Marina Granovskaia.
Granovskaia’s departure 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 run Chelsea on Abramovich’s behalf in recent years and was responsible for managing 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 that Granovskaia will continue to offer assistance until the end of this transfer window. But his departure will increase Boehly’s responsibility, 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 have not backed down after learning of Romelu Lukaku’s desire to return to Internazionale. Boehly took over negotiations with Inter, who agreed in principle to pay £7m plus add-ons to sign Lukaku on loan, after deciding it would be counter-productive to deny the striker a move.
Lukaku, who is taking a huge pay cut to join Inter, was in deep trouble after joining Chelsea for £97.5m last summer. He struggled to fit into Thomas Tuchel’s system and has openly longed for a return to Inter. Tuchel backed the game and LA Dodgers co-owner Boehly wants to back the German.
There was a desire to resolve the Lukaku situation as quickly as possible. It hasn’t become a saga and the challenge now will be for Chelsea to bolster their attack from him, with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling a prominent target, and move quickly in the transfer market. It will be interesting to see how much influence Petr Cech, the technical and performance advisor, has this summer. The former Chelsea goalkeeper worked closely with Granovskaia, and pundits have praised his intelligence and diligence.
The hope will be that Chelsea, which intends to give Tuchel significant transfer funds, can act decisively after announcing its new board. Buck, a polarizing figure in recent years, has agreed to resign at the end of this month. The American was named chairman after Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003.
“As custodians of Chelsea FC, we now begin to execute on our long-term vision and plan for the club, creating an exceptional experience for its loyal and passionate fans, and continuing to challenge for top 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 field. 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, Conservative Fellow and Times columnist; and James Pade, partner and CEO 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 attempts to renovate Stamford Bridge.
Eghbali and Feliciano signaled their determination to continue investing in the women’s team and offered their support to well-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 we will provide proactive and unwavering support to make loyal Chelsea fans and our partners proud.”