The most influential woman in the EPL, Marina Granovskaia
If you not a wild fan of the English premier league, then you could hardly hear something about Marina Granovskaia. If you not a wild fan of Chelsea, then you have no idea how she even looks. However, she is in charge of one of the most powerful European clubs the last few years.
Granovskaia, as well as all other acquaintances of Roman Abramovich, works very quietly and discreetly. She hasn’t given a single interview during all the time in England. Her Facebook page has been protected by strict privacy settings since 2007.
There are just a few facts about Marina’s life available to the public. She studied at the Moscow school No. 1113 (with profound studying of music and choreography). She graduated from MSU with honors in 1997 and at once got a job in Sibneft operated then by Roman Abramovich. Granovskaia quickly became the assistant to the owner, and promoted to the status of the adviser later.
When the Russian money came to Chelsea in 2003, Granovskaia went to London too and long time worked in investment company of Abramovich Millhouse. She came to football closer to the end of the 2000th. Granovskaia often appeared at Chelsea management meetings and gradually became the main link between Abramovich and other directors. Within three years Granovskaia came to Stamford Bridge as the close adviser of the owner. She was officially appointed as the member of management board only in the 2013th.
In fact, Granovskaia took charge of all operations over the Chelsea in October 2014. Later on Ron Gurley left the club. He dealt with all football issues – from the appointment of the coach to transfer policy and extension of contracts.
“Granovskaia has a real power in Chelsea. She doesn’t want to be noticeable and well-known, but it is obvious for all who is the main”, – read the Evening Standard newspaper after her appointment in 2014.
Now Granovskaia is listed on the website of Chelsea as Director.
Monster of communication and negotiations
There a special rule in Chelsea several years: if someone needs to reach Roman Abramovich, it is necessary to contact Granovskaia first. She has the fastest and direct access to the owner. Granovskaia is in charge of all communications with the club departments, coaches and even players.
She is considered a very good negotiator. Her communication style is delicate and discreet, however, rigidly protecting the interests of the club. According to a legend from Daily Mail, Granovskaia lost control only once, during negotiations on extension of the contract with Terry 3 years ago. She told John something in the spirit of “Either you will sign it, or leave”. Terry prolonged the contract on the terms of Chelsea.
Fernando Torres became the first big transfer of Granovskaia: in January of the 2011th Chelsea bought him from Liverpool for £50 million. Later she interviewed Rafael Benitez, brought Diego Costa from Atletico and signed Willian from Tottenham.
Granovskaia became one of the main initiators for a new development system of players. Chelsea started scattering its young players to different European teams (in a season-2014/15 they signed about 30 loans). It is favorable from all points of view: Chelsea observes progress of a player in a good league and pulls back, or subsequently sells for more or less adequate money.
Return of Jose Mourinho to the Blues
The most prominent project of Granovskaia that fully disclosed the extent of her authority and power was a return of José Mourinho. José parting with Abramovich in 2007 turned out rigid and unpleasant. Therefore nobody even thought to call the Portuguese again to Chelsea. “Marina told that it is necessary to return Mourinho, and was driving force in the whole story”, – read the Evening Standard source.
Granovskaia personally started negotiations with Mourinho. She flew to Spain personally and convinced the other heads of Chelsea about the necessity of the coach return.
“Decisions in Chelsea are made by Abramovich. There are no doubts in it, but he is not an autocrat at all, – one of the agents told. – He has a small group of top managers and a very accurate structure. Marina knows how to communicate with Roman, knows how it is possible to influence him. This is an important ability as Abramovich asks direct questions and always expects direct answers”.