By Mukwuzi Joseph
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is poised to become the next big name to leave the club after it was confirmed today that Bruce Buck will step down as chairman.
According to The Telegraph Granovskaia, one of the most influential figures in world football, will follow Buck out of Stamford Bridge, with some sources even indicating her departure could be confirmed before the transfer window closes.
In that case, it has been suggested Todd Boehly, who took control in west London after completing his takeover, may oversee transfer negotiations. Granovskaia, in her role under Roman Abramovich, was lauded as ‘football’s best club director’.
The Russian-Canadian business executive has effectively run the club on a day-to-day basis. According to their website, she has ‘acted as a representative of the owner at the club and in support of the board of directors since her arrival in 2010.
She graduated from Moscow State University and first began to work for Abramovich in 1997 at Sibneft, an oil company the sanctioned oligarch previously owned. Granovskaia moved to England soon after, following Chelsea’s sale in 2003.
Having then joined the club’s board in 2013, she assumed responsibilities over player contracts and transfer business. Last year, she was named the ‘Best Club Director in European football’ at the Golden Boy awards, underlining her importance to the club.
Chelsea is yet to officially issue confirmation over her future.
Her looming departure may force the Blues into another shake-up, which could see a football director appointed. Until then, the same publication has said that Boehly and Thomas Tuchel will be forced to step in to assume the bulk of Granovskaia’s remit.
There are also now question marks over Petr Cech, who was appointed as Chelsea’s technical and performance advisor by Granoskaia. He was, however, asked by the new owner to continue in his role, but will now decide whether to stay or not.
Earlier, the Blues issued a statement revealing that Buck, another key figure in Abramovich’s lengthy reign, would leave at the end of this month.
The development just three weeks into the ownership of Boehly, who took over from Abramovich in a £4.25billion deal after the Russian oligarch was sanctioned by the UK Government due to his close ties with Vladimir Putin.
The Government had urged the Blues to ditch their long-standing links to Abramovich and that appears to include Buck, who was appointed chairman towards the start of the Russian’s ownership of the club.