Once the news of Bruce Buck stepping down as Chelsea Chairman broke on Monday morning, it felt like the departure of Marina Granovskaia was only a short time away.
The two last signs of the Roman Abramovich era departing is as equally symbolic as it is informative over the future direction of the club’s hierarchy under Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.
As reported by Matt Law for The Telegraph on late Monday morning, Granovskaia is set to become the next big-name exit and Boehly will not only step in as new chairman to replace Buck but also take over transfer negotiations.
READ MORE:Todd Boehly’s message to Bruce Buck after Chelsea chairman steps down
The suggestion had been that both Buck and Granovskaia would stick around to help ease the transition process following the seismic takeover from Abramovich. But this news indicates a quicker shift than expected. It is unknown how soon the Russian-Canadian will leave but the obvious succession plan of a new sporting director will likely come into focus, a role Chelsea have not filled in any capacity since Michael Emenalo left in November 2017.
Boehly is known throughout his time with the LA Dodgers to place people with great expertise within the organisation and one would hope on the transfer side of Chelsea would get its overdue shake-up now. The American signalled that change when speaking at a business conference in Berlin last week, indicating the need to take inspiration from the data-led success of Liverpool under FSG.
“If you look at the models that are very successful, Liverpool is a great model. Liverpool generates a couple of hundred million more revenue than Chelsea and they generate earnings, so I think there is an opportunity to compete.” Boehly said.
The data-driven approach also links to his inclusion of lifelong support Daniel Finkelstein as a non-executive board member, who has been a pioneer in that area for many years and would ensure statistical analysis is state-of-the-art at Stamford Bridge, as described in a piece from The Athletic.
Those changes can hopefully help to rectify the long-standing frustration and confusion over Chelsea’s transfer approach in recent years.
But the exit of Granovskaia will surely lead to some reflection on the director’s role over the last decade. Her triumphs but also her failures have become more pronounced over recent years. For those most critical, there needs to be some credit given for her ability to wrangle high fees for unwanted players such as Alvaro Morata or Oscar, gaining almost £120million for the pair.
Her ability in negotiations to secure some big talent is there for all to see – the release clauses for Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante were transformative additions that helped the club win big titles, added to her involvement in the 12-month pursuit for Kai Havertz, a player who would go on to score a winning goal in the Champions League final.
In recent years, though, her inability to resolve the defensive contract crisis led to the departures of two senior players. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the sales of academy talent that helped fund the Romelu Lukaku deal now appear a reactive jump to sell young talent that could have aided Thomas Tuchel’s squad right now – especially with the striker set to depart after just one year at Stamford Bridge.
Or the continued reluctance to sell unwanted players for unrealistic fees, the stockpiling of talent like Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater, Emerson Palmieri, Baba Rahman, Davide Zappacosta and Michy Batshuayi – players who quickly became surplus to requirements and have crammed up wages as their contracts have been extended and sent on a host of loans.
In the end, the lack of a coherent and tangible plan for Chelsea’s business caught up with the club in what ironically turned out to be the final year of Abramovich, no better indication of that short-termism than the contract crisis.
Boehly can begin to shape his own Chelsea. One with a sporting director that works between the coach and board actually implements a vision over some tangible principles in recruitment that don’t solely focus on the next six months or what the current coach desires.
Granovskaia should be viewed with nuance; there are pros and cons, wins and losses. The public briefing of the word rebuild probably meant much more than just those on the pitch, as Buck and Granovskaia have now discovered.
Source by Football London