SOCCER

Chelsea manager Marina Granovskaia ‘set to become big name’s next outing’ at Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea manager Marina Granovskaia is set 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 his departure could be confirmed before the transfer window closes.

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In this case, it has been suggested that Todd Boehly, who took over West London after completing his takeover, could oversee the transfer negotiations. Granovskaia, in her role under Roman Abramovich, has been hailed as “the best football club manager”.

The Russian-Canadian business executive effectively ran the club on a day-to-day basis. According to their website, she has “acted as the owner’s representative to the club and in support of the board” since joining in 2010.

She graduated from Moscow State University and started working for Abramovich in 1997 at Sibneft, an oil company the sanctioned oligarch previously owned. Granovskaia moved to England soon after, following the sale of Chelsea in 2003.

After joining the club’s board in 2013, she assumed responsibility for player contracts and transfer affairs. Last year she was named ‘Best Club Manager in European Football’ at the Golden Boy Awards, underlining her importance to the club.

Marina Granovskaia (left) is set to become Chelsea’s next big-name exit, according to reports

Earlier the club confirmed that chairman Bruce Buck (L) would step down this month

Earlier the club confirmed that chairman Bruce Buck (L) would step down this month

Chelsea are yet to officially confirm his future.

His impending departure could force the Blues into another upset, which could see a director of football appointed. Until then, the same publication said Boehly and Thomas Tuchel would be forced to step in to take on the bulk of Granovskaia’s term.

There are also now question marks over Petr Cech, who has been appointed technical and performance adviser to Chelsea by Granoskaia. He was, however, invited by the new owner to continue in his role, but will now decide whether to stay or not.

Earlier, the Blues released a statement revealing Buck, another key figure in Abramovich’s long reign, would leave at the end of this month.

The development just three weeks after taking over Boehly, who took over from Abramovich in a £4.25billion deal after the Russian oligarch was sanctioned by the UK government over his close ties with Vladimir Putin.

Buck, like Granovskaia, had been a key figure during Roman Abramovich's long reign

Buck, like Granovskaia, had been a key figure during Roman Abramovich’s long reign

A Russian-Canadian business executive, Granovskaia played a leading role in contracts

A Russian-Canadian business executive, Granovskaia played a leading role in contracts

The government had urged the Blues to abandon their long-standing ties to Abramovich and that appears to include Buck, who was named chairman at the start of the club’s Russian ownership.

In a statement to Chelsea’s official website, he said: “I am proud to have helped Chelsea achieve great success on the pitch and to have a positive impact on the community.”

“Now is the time to step aside and let the new ownership build on the strong foundations we have in place.”

“The owners have a compelling vision for the future of Chelsea, and I look forward to helping them achieve it in this new role alongside our incredible staff, players, coaches and supporters.”

Buck will continue to support the club as a senior advisor in the future.

The news comes three weeks after Todd Boehly (right) became Chelsea's new owner

The news comes three weeks after Todd Boehly (right) became Chelsea’s new owner

Despite stepping down as chairman, Buck will continue to support the club as a senior adviser

Despite stepping down as chairman, Buck will continue to support the club as a senior adviser

In a personal statement, Boehly thanked Buck for his work in the role.

He said: “Bruce has led Chelsea Football Club to the highest levels of international and domestic football, while developing one of the most active social responsibility projects in sport.” We thank Bruce for his service and commitment to the Club.’

The Times claimed last month that Buck and a handful of others would split a pot of around £30m from the Boehly-led takeover between them, with Granovskaia set to receive £20m.

Buck had been seen sitting alongside Boehly before the takeover was completed, in games towards the end of last season.

During Buck’s time at the club, Chelsea cemented their status as one of the most successful clubs in the world, winning 18 major trophies.

Buck was a close associate of Abramovich (left), who sold the club after sanctions were imposed

Buck was a close associate of Abramovich (left), who sold the club after sanctions were imposed

Abramovich's penalty caused Chelsea several problems off the pitch before the takeover

Abramovich’s penalty caused Chelsea several problems off the pitch before the takeover

Chelsea’s statement also wrote: “The Club (under Buck) has also increased its commercial income significantly, established world-class training facilities at Cobham and developed one of the finest youth academies in football. .”

“In 2010, Buck, as Trustee and Chairman, helped establish the Chelsea FC Foundation, which supports a wide range of initiatives including improving access to athletics for young people, organizing education and employment programs and conducting anti-discrimination campaigns.”

Chelsea were a club in turmoil off the pitch following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich’s sanction prevented the club from selling matchday tickets, negotiating new player contracts or working on signing new additions to the squad.

Chelsea set to have a busy summer under Boehly after American takeover

Chelsea set to have a busy summer under Boehly after American takeover

Manchester City star Raheem Sterling is one of many players heavily linked with Chelsea

Manchester City star Raheem Sterling is one of many players heavily linked with Chelsea

Tuchel’s team, which finished third in the championship last season, should be occupied this summer by the American Boehly.

Players like Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are gone, while Cesar Azpilicueta, Romelu Lukaku and Marcos Alonso could all follow the exit door.

Chelsea have been linked with Raheem Sterling and Ousmane Dembele, while Jules Kounde could be brought in to bolster their defence.

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