Chelsea confirm Neil Bath exit after 30 years with fellow academy director Jim Fraser also to depart

Chelsea have confirmed the departure of Neil Bath, with fellow academy guru Jim Fraser also set to leave the club.

Bath, who had been Chelsea’s director of football development and operations for the past two years, first started working with the club in 1993.

He rose up the ranks and is credited with building the club’s academy, bringing through a string of players that included the likes of John Terry.

Bath approached Chelsea a few months ago to inform them that he was considering his future and talks have continued since then.

The Blues spoke with Bath at length about the idea of creating a new role for him in the hope that he would stay.

Bath, however, decided this week that he would be leaving the club and an official announcement has now been made.

Chelsea plan to give him a fitting send-off, with Bath planning to take a career break. He has agreed to help with the transition process after he leaves.

Exits: Chelsea duo Jim Fraser and Neil Bath will both be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer (Getty Images)
Exits: Chelsea duo Jim Fraser and Neil Bath will both be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer (Getty Images)

“After 30 years working at Chelsea, I feel it is the right time for me to have some time off and take a break from a job that I have put so much time into,” Bath told the club’s official website.

“I intend to rest and have some time away from the game, however I will continue working over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition for the organisation.

“As an academy, we have enjoyed fantastic backing from the club throughout my time here, without which none of our success would have been possible.

“I would like to thank every single person - player, parent, colleague, supporter - who has been on this journey with us. We achieved everything we could possibly have dreamed of - five Youth Cups in a row, countless debuts, homegrown players helping the team win the Champions League - and we did it together.

“In particular, I have to mention Jim Fraser, who has assisted me for the past 20 years and played such an important role in everything we have achieved.

“As a boy from Battersea who grew up on the Shed watching our teams of the 80s, it has been my greatest privilege playing a part in the club's success over the past two decades.

“I have made memories and friends that will last a lifetime. I hope we have made people proud and left the club in a better place to move forward.”

Fraser is also leaving Chelsea this summer, stepping away from his role as head of youth development and recruitment.

He was promoted to that role in February last year after Bath was made director of football development and operations.

Fraser was previously Bath’s trusted assistant and his focus was on registrations and recruitment. He also took the lead on talent management and recruitment within the club’s overall sporting department.

Fraser has been at Chelsea for the past 19 years and worked on the club’s domestic and international scouting and recruitment at the younger ages.