Chelsea could end up spending over £100m on new players this summer as a new centre-back, full-back, midfielder and centre-forward are already on manager Thomas Tuchel’s list of priority signings, but the biggest challenge facing the Premier league The club’s new American owners cannot be resolved by any transfer fees. By confirming the departure of senior chief executive Marina Granovskaya, Chelsea have created a vacancy that cannot be filled.

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What happens on the pitch and the players who determine a team’s success or failure tend to grab the attention of fans and the media alike, but there are times when key boardroom changes matter far more than a star player’s move. . . Granovskaya’s departure from Stamford Bridge is the most significant change among football influencers since David Gill stepped down as chief executive of Manchester United in 2013.

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United are still trying to recover from the double loss of Gill and manager Sir Alex Ferguson nine years ago. While Ferguson’s departure was undoubtedly the most high-profile event at Old Trafford in the last 30 years, Gill also proved indispensable as a calm, experienced and well-connected man who ran the club’s off-field operations and managed transfer deals and contracts. negotiation. The brain drain that United faced in 2013 led to a chaotic transition under Gill’s successor Ed Woodward, and nearly a decade later, the club remains in constant flux.

Chelsea’s summer of change is different from what United experienced in 2013, but the club’s future is still uncertain. The new regime, led by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boly, would be wise to learn from United’s mistakes as they plan their way from the Roman Abramovich era.

While United have lost their greatest manager and respected chief executive, Chelsea must move on without the man whose billions turned the club into serial winners and two-time European champions, and the woman who wielded immense influence at Stamford Bridge more decade and is credited with making Chelsea one of the best clubs in the world both on and off the pitch.

Boli and his partners must take on the task of proving that Chelsea can achieve continued success without the benefit of Abramovich’s personal fortune – the Russian oligarch covered losses that amounted to more than £900,000 a week during his 19 years as owner – but they rich and insightful enough to know how to make a football club successful as a sustainable business. Part of that includes ensuring they have the right person to oversee the football operations — recruiting, transfers and contracts — that Granovskaya has run so successfully, especially since she was promoted to chief executive in 2014.

Chelsea have made a promising start by announcing that Granovskaya will remain at Boli’s disposal during the summer transfer window to advise on negotiations, and sources have told Sportzshala that the club are looking to hire Michael Edwards, who is leaving Liverpool’s sporting director role. this month to take over the new football department at Stamford Bridge.

But just as United and Woodward didn’t know Gill’s true worth until he left the club, Chelsea will likely also find that losing Granovskaya will mean more than just leaving the board. Sources told Sportzshala that several of the players’ agents in particular are looking forward to seeing what Chelsea will do next. Perhaps this concern is rooted in self-interest and fear of the unknown, because so many have built relationships with Granovskaya that have allowed them to negotiate knowing who they are dealing with and how those negotiations will progress.

Some clubs deal with only a handful of preferred agents, and some first-time Premier League owners in the past relied on just one agent for their recruiting operations in their early years of ownership. It is unlikely that Chelsea will repeat the same mistake made by the likes of Portsmouth, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City (before Sheikh Mansour came to power in 2008), but once they lose Granovskaya’s knowledge and connections, they will be vulnerable to others. his inexperience.

When Woodward replaced Gill, he knew little about the football world, having worked in United’s banking and commercial department before his promotion to the top job, and he has since admitted to making too many mistakes learning the basics. These mistakes have cost United millions in terms of bad signing and contract decisions, while the club has also been used by players, agents and rival teams when it comes to boosting their own valuation and pay deals simply by using United. in their own interests.

Having secured Granovskaya’s support before the end of this transfer window, Boly, who has taken on the role of interim sporting director, has at least admitted that neither he nor his partners yet have the knowledge of the football industry to go it alone this summer. But since Granovskaya is gone forever, Chelsea need to find the right answer. Edwards would have had a proven track record and be as close as possible to replacing Granovskaya, but his role at Liverpool did not have the same level of power and oversight as that of what is often described as the most powerful woman in football. so Chelsea will still have gaps to fill.

United failed to replace Gill, but at least their mismanagement gave Chelsea an example of how not to do that with Granovskaya.