Chelsea: Todd Boehly facing baptism of fire leading £200m transfer rebuild after Marina Granovskaia exits

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Exodus: Marina Granovskaia is set to become the latest high-profile Chelsea figure to depart the club  (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Exodus: Marina Granovskaia is set to become the latest high-profile Chelsea figure to depart the club (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

The future of Marina Granovskaia was one of the biggest questions surrounding the change of ownership at Chelsea.

Dubbed the most powerful woman in football, she has effectively run the club for Roman Abramovich for almost a decade.

If, as expected, she becomes the next big-name exit at Stamford Bridge, then her departure represents a significant loss and leaves a massive gap to be filled.

Granovskaia has been considered the most powerful person at Chelsea after Abramovich. Many people assumed she would leave after the Russian billionaire put Chelsea up for sale, but interested buyers were aware of how highly rated she is within the game.

With Chelsea facing a tough summer and playing catch-up in the transfer market, Thomas Tuchel’s preference was for Granovskaia to stay on as a director for the rest of the window. He wanted her to oversee transfers for at least the summer to ensure some continuity during any hand-over process, following the Todd Boehly takeover.

But, after Chelsea announced yesterday that Bruce Buck will leave his post as chairman, Granovskaia is also set to be the next high-profile exit, as the new regime takes shape.

A statement from Chelsea regarding the timing of her departure is expected soon, but it is anticipated she will leave before the transfer window closes.

Granovskaia leaving represents a blow to manager Tuchel, who has struck up a close working relationship with the transfer chief and knows Chelsea face a huge summer as they embark on the rebuild required to return them to the top of English football.

Buck was not integral to the decision-making process under Abramovich, but the departure of Granovskaia will have an immediate impact on the day-to-day running of the club.

The Russian-Canadian executive has worked at Chelsea since 2010 and has looked after transfers and player contracts since 2013. Last year, she was named Best Club Director in European football, underlining her importance to the club.

Standard Sport reported last month that Boehly would personally oversee Chelsea’s transfer drive and plans to spend much of the summer in the UK to ensure his new club are in a position to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool next season.

The pressure is now on new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly to spearhead a transfer rebuild (Getty Images)
The pressure is now on new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly to spearhead a transfer rebuild (Getty Images)

It is clear Boehly, who is likely to fill the roles left by both Granovskaia and Buck, plans to be very hands-on in the job and he wants to give Tuchel more power over recruitment.

Chelsea are expected to confirm their new board soon, and getting new appointments right will be key. Businessman Jonathan Goldstein will give the new owners a London presence, while there could also be roles for Daniel Finkelstein and Barbara Charone. They will almost certainly have to appoint a new sporting director and have been linked with Atletico Madrid’s Andrea Berta.

It was always unlikely that Granovskaia, whose close professional ties with Abramovich date back 20 years, would retain the same level of power under the new regime. But initially it was expected that Granovskaia and Buck would remain in their roles during a transition period. That plan has changed and the departures of two of Abramovich’s closest aides offer

Boehly and US investment firm Clearlake Capital the chance of a fresh start. It was always clear that the new Chelsea owners would eventually need a clean break from the Abramovich regime to stamp their own authority on the club. But losing Granovskaia’s expertise, experience, influence and contacts now is a huge loss.

Chelsea have already watched Liverpool spend £64million on Darwin Nunez and Manchester City sign Erling Haaland for £51.2m this summer. They are playing catch-up to their rivals and desperately need to overhaul their squad.

Without Granovskaia, Boehly is facing a baptism of fire to rebuild the Chelsea squad in time for the start of the new season

As well as having to fill the defensive void left by the departures of centre-backs Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, attack is the area both Tuchel and Boehly believe needs to be addressed if Chelsea are to close the gap to the top two.

The hope was that Boehly would be able to lean heavily on Granovskaia during a period of enormous change at Stamford Bridge. Her departure will also raise question marks over the future of technical and performance advisor Petr Cech, who has also worked closely with Granovskaia and Tuchel over transfers.

With Granovskaia leaving, more responsibility will be piled on Boehly and Tuchel, who will have to take on transfer negotiations. Boehly has been negotiating Romelu Lukaku’s loan return to Inter Milan and will assume control of the pursuits of Raheem Sterling and Jules Kounde.

Without Granovskaia, however, the new owner is facing a baptism of fire to rebuild the Chelsea squad in time for the start of the new season.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting