Chelsea is no stranger to change. The Blues saw 15 managers walk through the metaphorical doors at Cobham in the 19 years under Roman Abramovich. Nearly two decades later, it was the Russian oligarch’s turn to say goodbye to his beloved club. Abramovich officially handed Chelsea Football Club off to its newest owners, American Todd Boehly and his consortium, at the beginning of the month. It’s been a busy three weeks as the Blues arguably undergo their biggest change of the 21st century this summer.
Boehly is looking to turn Chelsea into a machine capable of competing with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City on the pitch. This will require some sacrifices as the Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner has a handful of tough decisions to make in the coming months. It seems to be out with the old and in with the new at Stamford Bridge as Boehly begins to build the base of his newfound empire. The changes will continue over the coming weeks with a few of the largest outgoings—Abramovich aside—leaving their posts ahead of the upcoming season.
Want your voice heard? Join the The Pride Of London team!
Write for us!
There will be massive changes happening at Chelsea over the next few weeks
The Blues announced on Monday that club Chairman Bruce Buck would step down effective June 30. Buck has served on the Chelsea board since 2003, during which time the Blues have become one of world football’s elite brands. The New York native has helped the club establish success both on the pitch—with the men’s and women’s teams—and off it as a global icon. Buck will remain with the club in a new role as a Senior Adviser where he will continue to help Chelsea grow, as he’s done for the better part of the last two decades. Boehly will take over as acting Chairman following Buck’s official resignation, a duty Ken Bates took on when he owned the club.
The bigger news to come out of Monday’s news relates to Director Marina Granovskaia. The Blues’ long-time transfer negotiation guru is expected to follow Buck out the door by the end of the current week. Many anticipated that Granovskaia would resign sooner rather than later, with the end of the summer transfer window being seen as a good place to cut ties. However, the close Abramovich confidant will presumably step down before the calendar turns to July. There has been no official announcement regarding Granovskaia’s future, but it’s pretty telling that she has not been involved in the Blues’ most important negotiations thus far this summer. Boehly has been handling the talks with Inter Milan over Lukaku’s eventual return to Italy.
It goes without saying that the Granovskaia news is the most significant development in Chelsea’s overhaul since Abramovich announced he was putting the club up for sale. She is viewed as one of the most adept negotiators in world football, and she’s built a reputation over the years for being one of the most cutthroat individuals in the business. The Blues would not be where they are today without Granovskaia and her resignation is a huge blow to the club’s immediate future.
All of that being said, not everything about the change has to be viewed as a negative. A fresh perspective will help Chelsea mirror the successful formulas of other clubs in recent years. Boehly will get to experience how the club is run first hand, which only benefits the new owner in the grand scheme of things. The Blues will eventually be searching for a new Sporting/Technical Director—Monaco’s Paul Mitchell is a rumored candidate—now that Granovskaia is all but officially gone, as Boehly cannot assume this post forever.
Meanwhile, the futures of other key figures, such as Petr Cech, remain up in the air. The next few weeks will be crucial as Chelsea continues to clean house under the Boehly consortium. The Blues are stripping themselves bare at every level before they eventually begin to build themselves back up again. It’s a fresh and exciting time to support the reigning FIFA Club World Cup Champions as they look to return to the pinnacle of European football once again in the near future.
Are you excited about the changes happening around SW6? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter!