Former high profile Chelsea figures Marina Granovskaia and Bruce Buck were among those to be handsomely paid by the club following Todd Boehly’s takeover last year.
Former Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia pocketed £36million from the Blues for ‘services related to the club’s sale’ – accounts show.
Granovskaia received the eye-watering payout as the highest paid director with a total of £49.75million paid to the departing board at Stamford Bridge. The remaining £14m appears to have been split between other board member at the Blues, including the club’s long-standing former chairman Bruce Buck.
Roman Abramovich was forced into selling the West London club last year after being sanctioned by the UK government in March for allegedly having ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin. Chelsea were desperate to secure a new owner amid a budget crisis, with their funds temporarily dictated by the British government.
A group led by US businessman Boehly completed their takeover of the club following the conclusion of the 2021/22 campaign. It brought an end to Abramovich’s 19-year control of the club, a period in which they won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League crowns.
Chelsea’s latest set of accounts show that wages for the club’s directors were up by £15m compared to the previous year. The Blues posted total losses of over £1billion – the first Premier League club to do so – as they recorded an operating loss of £235m for the 2021/22 campaign.
The standout payment was to Granovskaia, who was given a £1million payoff from the club alongside a £35m consultancy fee for helping sell the Blues to the Boehly-led consortium a year ago.
Granovskaia controlled day-to-day dealings and was their transfer chief; a trusted lieutenant of Abramovich. The Russian-Canadian executive has been the most influential woman in the Premier League and was a key player in the club’s decision-making over more than a decade and a half.
She had been one of Abramovich’s closest allies for over two decades, having first met the billionaire when he took over Russian oil company Sibneft in 1997. Granovskaia moved to London when Abramovich bought the club in 2003 and was a key negotiator in commercial deals, player sales and other club business.
Chelsea’s costs come during a season when the club have spent over £550million on transfer fees, in addition to the payments involved in sacking managers Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter. The Blues, who now have Frank Lampard back as interim coach, are in the bottom half of the Premier League.