Getting to know our new chief executive

Via the official Web site...

Tell us your background as a player in Scotland.
My footballing background goes back many years. I was a player in my younger days and I had a number of trials around some of the local teams, but never really made it onto the big stage. I was a big fan of football as well. I spent many seasons following Dundee with my dad. Charlie Cooke was my dad's hero and was at Dundee before he was Tommy Docherty's big Chelsea signing.

Would you have signed you as a player?
No. I was never the quickest. I was a goalscorer, I played semi-professional and then my Umbro job took me away an awful lot and training with teams died down a little bit.

It was a real opportunity at Umbro, it came along at the right time for me. Umbro at that time were very dominant in football, most of the football clubs north and south of the border had their kit sponsored by Umbro. So it gave me a real opportunity to get involved in football at that early stage

What will Peter Kenyon's role as non-executive director entail?
Peter will continue on the board and he is very influential in world football. He holds a number of key posts in Uefa and I think that's important for the club, to maintain that level of exposure and have a say at that level. How long that goes on for, who knows, but at this stage it is very important.

Peter is a very well-known figure in the game. While I have been around the game for a long time and have experience, I am not a face that is particularly well-known as far as the outside world is concerned. Obviously that will change and has changed a bit already.

After five managers in just over two years, you will be keen for some stability at management level and so far so good for Carlo Ancelotti.
It's a fantastic start but the whole stability and continuity is very important to me and the business going forwards. Carlo, at his last club, stability was part of the make-up. You are looking at a coach who has won the top competition twice as a coach and as a player as well. So I think confidence comes with stability in all the day-to-day goings on and there is a real buzz around Chelsea at the moment. That's thanks to Carlo and the support Carlo has around him.

Gourlay Ancelotti Chelsea

Will you take more of a back seat in player recruitment?
As chief execuitve you have to be across everything that happens. You have a responsibility to deliver a strategy and all the objectives set by the business. That's my responsibility and you can't have one-foot-in, one-foot-out. I am across everything that happens. Whether I am involved in the detail of every agreement or every meeting that we have, then no, that's not going to be my business. Whether I am involved in every detail of every meeting that we have? No, that is not going to be the case.

How often do you have dialogue with the owner?
Regularly. I think that's important and I encourage it. Communication is important for the business.

Will there be any change in the way major decisions on the football side are taken? How do we decide on player targets for example?

We have a football club board. The decisions are discussed in those board meetings and if there is an opportunity to buy a player who can take us forward and will fit into our team then we will decide on a case-by-case basis.

What can you tell us about the Kakuta case?
There is not a lot I can say as far as the legal system is concerned. I think we have a strong case and that appeal with be logged with the Court for Arbitration for Sport.

Do you think you'll reside over a good era at the football club?
Well, I've had a great start! It's going to be a challenge the next five years, I use the term 'the next five years' on the basis of the 10-year plan. We have set our goals very high. I would like to see us continue playing the exciting football we are playing and that's very close to the owner's heart.

We have to keep identifying young home-grown players and nurture them through our Academy, that's important. We have to continue to develop the facilities we have down at Cobham, develop our key core players that we have in place now. And the final piece for me is definitely fan engagement. They are the life blood of the football club and I am really keen to take that on to the next level because it is important in the growth of the club.

What would you consider as chief executive to be success?
We have got to continue winning trophies, that's the expectation of Chelsea Football Club. Every time we cross the white line it's to win football games. We are expected to compete in every competition we enter. That is how we have positioned ourselves as a football club and that's how we are portrayed as a football club. There's lots of energy around the place and we are in a good position to support the coach and deliver everything we are expecting to deliver.

On and off the field we have a fantastic team and together, it's key that we work together. We will go onto the next level I am sure.

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