Marina Granovskaia plays a pivotal role behind the scenes at Chelsea as director of the club whilst also taking a firm hold in transfer and contract negotiations.
Alike Chelsea owner Roman Ambramovich, Granovskaia hails from Russia and the pair had worked together prior to Abramovich’s takeover at the latter’s oil company. When he did take over the Blues in 2003 Granovskaia joined him a short while after, acting as his representative since 2010 until becoming chief executive in 2014.
Granoskaia has been at the forefront of negotiations, both for incomings and outgoings. In terms of bringing in big names, the Russian is a specialist. Notable signings with hefty price tags such as Diego Costa, Willian, Fernando Torres, Alvaro Morata, Jorginho and Kepa Arrizabalaga were all enticed to Stamford Bridge by Granovskaia.
Despite the varying success of these signings, and the future success of the more recent acquisitions that is yet to be seen, her importance in fending off other clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur for Willian and Manchester City for Jorginho can’t be underestimated. When Chelsea want a player, Granovskaia does everything in her power to make that possible.
On the loan front of outgoings, Granovskaia has been key in strengthening the relations between Chelsea and Eredivisie outfit Vitesse Arnhem, where Chelsea have been sending players out loans for eight years now. The relationship still stands strong today with three Chelsea players in Eduardo, Jake Clarke-Slater and Charly Musonda all heading to the Gelderland club, hoping to emulate a similar success story as Vitesse’s club player of the year for last campaign, Mason Mount.
Granovskaia has largely been on top form in the form of permanent deals. Chinese outfits JS Suning and Shanghai SIPG have forked out £25m for Ramires and £60m for Oscar respectively in the last few years as a result of some shrewd negotiating by Granovskaia. In the summer window of 2017, Chelsea reaped just shy of £60m through the sales of Nathan Ake, Asmir Begovic, Juan Cuadrado and Bertrand Traore, who, collectively, had less than 50 appearances for Chelsea.
Obviously, not everyone is perfect, as Granovskaia did negotiate the sale of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United for £40m, a deal that contributed to Chelsea’s downfall in fifth position the following season and therefore they missed out on Champions League football. Despite the occasional mishap, on the whole, Granovskaia’s negational nouns can aid the Blues on and off the pitch and will continue to do so for the forthcoming future.