Chelsea in major board shake-up as transfer chief Granovskaia leaving & Boehly assumes interim sporting director role

Marina Granovskaia Chelsea
Getty/Chelsea
The Blues transfer decision-maker departs after a 12-year spell in west London

Chelsea's transfer chief Marina Granovskaia will follow a host of other board members out of the club, with Todd Boehly becoming interim sporting director. 

Granovskaia has been the single most important figure in conducting transfers in west London and the upheaval could cause issues when signing players - but she officially left the club on Wednesday morning, albeit she will still be available in a supporting role this summer.

It follows, as first revealed by GOAL, the exits of CEO Guy Laurence and the sanctioned Roman Abramovich advisor Eugene Tenenbaum. 

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What boardroom changes have been made at Chelsea?

Boehly has taken over as interim sporting director and chairman, with further changes to come.

He has been overseeing transfer activity in the early part of the market but is relying on the expertise of others within the football operation.

Granovskaia has left her official role but will remain at Chelsea this summer to help them oversee their transfer dealings for the 2022-23 season.

"As custodians of Chelsea , we now begin executing our long-term vision and plan for the club, creating an outstanding experience for its passionate, loyal fans, and continuing to challenge for top honours in line with Chelsea's decorated history," Boehly told the club website.

"We thank Marina for her many years of excellent service to the Club and wish her all the best in her future ventures."

Chelsea celebrating Todd Boehly

Former club chairman Bruce Buck will remain as a senior advisor to the club having impressed the Boehly-Clearlake ownership group. 

The Blues have head of football operations David Barnard and technical and performance advisor Petr Cech able to step in on the transfer front too. 

The new board has not been announced but the key stakeholders in the new ownership consortium will have places on the panel. This involves the private equity firm Clearlake Capital and billionaires Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter. 

There are expected to be further announcements on non-executive board roles for Conservative Party Member of the House of Lords Danny Finkelstein and PR executive Barbara Charone. 

The new ownership group have ambitious plans for the west Londoners but many inside the men's football operation were concerned that the late completion of the takeover may hold the Blues back in this transfer window.

What will Boehly do as interim sporting director?

Chelsea are amidst the most drastic change in their transfer structure for over a decade.

Boehly's role as interim sporting director formalises a position that he has filled ever since the takeover after he took an active role in the negotiations to loan Romelu Lukaku to Inter.

It follows his consultations with Thomas Tuchel, Emma Hayes and Neil Bath - Chelsea's academy manager).

The interim nature of his role means he'll get to understand the club before handing it over to a new full-time sporting director.

The current scouts will remain in place and so will Petr Cech, who offers an advisory role to the board for the football operation.

Chelsea are ambitious but are playing catch up in the transfer window. They're keen to put Tuchel's ideas at the heart of the rebuild of the men's first-team operation.

Who is Marina Granovskaia & what was her role at Chelsea?

Granovskaia won the award for Best Club Director in European football in 2021. 

The Russian-Canadian dual national informally came to London when Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, advising him throughout his ownership, but only officially became part of the operation in 2010. 

She grew her association with Abramovich through the business which brought most of his wealth in the oil company Sibneft. 

Marina Granovskaia Chelsea

It's unclear what Granovskaia will do next having run the football operation at Chelsea in an unusual structure for one of Europe's top clubs. 

It had been thought that Chelsea weren't planning major changes to their board structure until after the transfer window was over, through briefings made during the takeover process. However, alternative decisions have since been taken. 

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