Todd Boehly, the American businessman who headed the consortium that had just bought Chelsea, will take over the chairmanship of the club and was put in charge of the transfer market this summer as interim sporting director.
The English club announced a number of changes to its board on Wednesday. One of them is the imminent departure of Marina Granovskia, who in recent years has gained a reputation as a shrewd and tough transfer negotiator.
Granovskia will remain at the club until the end of the current transfer window, although she will do so to aid in the transition of power at the hands of Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea were sold last month for 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) – the highest amount ever for a sports team – to a consortium led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehli. That money figure could be dwarfed by the upcoming sale of the NFL’s Denver Broncos.
The sale of the West London club ended a successful 19-year spell with Abramovich. The Russian oligarch was forced to part ways with Chelsea after being sanctioned by the British government, which accused it of being an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the “brutal and barbaric invasion” of Ukraine.
Bruce Buck, who served as president under Abramovich, will step down at the end of June. Granovskia was an influential executive on Abramovich’s board, and she would help Bohli reconfigure the campus in the coming months.
Everything points to a very eventful summer for Chelsea, who are set to allow Romelu Lukaku to return on loan to Inter Milan. The Belgian striker will be one of the Premier League’s great nuisances after signing for a second spell with Chelsea a year ago. Distributions of $135 million made him the seventh costliest player in history.
Lukaku was dropped from a call-up earlier this year after giving an interview in which he expressed dissatisfaction with Chelsea, saying he was not happy with coach Thomas Tuchel’s game offer. He later apologised.
Chelsea will have two attackers: Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele.
Although this would be short-lived, Bohli assumed a much sought-after role as sports director, given his limited experience in the world of football and its transfer market. Retaining Granovskaya this summer is important in that regard, although her departure was inevitable because of her relationship with Abramovich.
Other names on Chelsea’s new board include Dodgers co-owner Mark Walter, Swiss tycoon Hansjörg Wise and British billionaire Jonathan Goldstein. Barbara Charon, a prominent public relations officer in the music industry, is also involved.