Chelsea’s new owners are open to keeping Marina Granovskaia after buying the club from Roman Abramovich, according to reports.
Abramovich has confirmed that he wants to sell Chelsea and has claimed that the decision ‘is in best interest of the club’.
The Russian billionaire has faced multiple calls to be sanctioned by the UK Government for his alleged ties with Vladimir Putin, something which he has consistently denied.
Granovskaia, meanwhile, has been a key figurehead at Chelsea for over a decade and oversees how the football side of the club operates, including player contracts, managerial appointments and dismissals, and transfers.
According to The Telegraph, Granovskaia, who has been described as ‘the most powerful woman in football’ is the only person at Chelsea who has regular contact with Abramovich.
And the report claims that those interested in buying Chelsea are open to the prospect of keeping Granovskaia in her current position, given her strong reputation in football.
However, The Telegraph report that Granovskaia would need to cut her professional ties with Abramovich in order to do so. According to Chelsea, she has ‘worked closely’ as a ‘senior adviser’ to Abramovich for 18 years.
According to Swiss newspaper Blick, a Swiss-American consortium is leading the race to buy Chelsea from Abramovich.
The group, which is spearheaded by Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and US tycoon Todd Boehly, who owns parts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Lakers, are even hopeful that a provisional agreement can be reached as early as Monday.
Abramovich has already announced that he will write off the £1.5 billion he is owed by Chelsea, but it’s understood that the Russian is looking for a £3bn fee for the club.
However, investors are wary of meeting that valuation primarily due to the estimated £2.2bn it would cost to redevelop Stamford Bridge.
Speaking on Thursday, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters suggested that Abramovich could conceivably sell Chelsea before their next Premier League home game against Newcastle United on March 13.
‘I think the quickest one we have ever done is 10 days but that’s not to say that record cannot be beaten,’ Masters said at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit on Thursday.
‘Normally it will take a number of weeks but that will depend on the complexity of the deal really and the number of potential owners.
‘Provided that the information is easily digestible, easily understandable and gives us the right answers, it can be done relatively quickly.’