Ever since Michael Emenalo resigned in November and Chelsea announced they’d be reorganizing their management structure, we’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. They hired a CEO who’s charged with running the club and increasing its marketing revenue, Guy Laurence.
But still tantalizingly vacant is the job Emenalo held down on the football side, regardless of the title Chelsea eventually choose to put on the position. Right now the work is being handled by the scouting department and Marina Granovskaia. Give her lack of experience in the role, either someone will eventually get promoted from within or Chelsea will hire from outside.
One name that keeps floating around is that of Michael Ballack. The midfielder was part of what now looks like Chelsea’s Golden Generation, playing 166 times for us between 2006 and 2010. Ballack may have spent most of his career in Germany and represented four clubs, but he’s remained a huge Chelsea fan.
We have no way of knowing what’s going inside Chelsea’s silent fortress, they’re pretty good about keeping things under wraps. But if Ballack is indeed under consideration for an executive role, then we ought to pay attention to his words.
Luckily for us, this week he’s been talking about the issues facing Chelsea (part of his role as a Betfair Ambassador.) His message alternates between the need to be alarmed about Chelsea’s recent problems...
“It’s not what Chelsea is asking for, running so far behind. Chelsea with its history shouldn’t have different ambitions. You have to think about what happened the last three years.
“Finishing fifth is not good enough for Chelsea, and especially in the last three seasons not qualifying for the Champions League twice. It’s a sign, it’s a development with which you have to be careful. You have to question yourself inside Chelsea to see what you have done right and what you have done wrong.”
... to visualizing a strategy that Chelsea can implement to right their ship. It’s a strategy that might play well with Roman Abramovich, who’s invested so heavily in the academy.
“It’s not always about the money to be successful it’s also about the strategy. They have a really good youth team that beats everybody. They have good young talent which you can work with. There is quality there. I have seen them myself there.
“It’s not always about spending the big money, taking risks, relying on one or two players. Maybe it’s time also to go in a different way for Chelsea.”
-Michael Ballack; source: Daily Mail
That’s not your typical shoot-from-the-hip punditry. Ballack is close to the club and he knows what he’s talking about. Chelsea could do a lot worse than giving him an office at Cobham and letting him give our recruitment and managerial appointments a badly needed sense of direction.