For the most part we never hear from Chelsea’s board about anything to do with football. They’re like a black hole when it comes to information and communicating with club’s support (and partly as a consequence of that, they take a lot of flack on social media.)
Bruce Buck may be the most visible member. He contributed some very kind comments about Ray Wilkins to the club’s website. And he and fellow board member Eugene Tenenbaum are taking part in the March of the Living (an anti-semitism campaign.)
But when it comes to the nitty-gritty of transfers and managers, the board maintains absolute radio silence.
Except this one time when a fan from Exeter wrote to Roman Abramovich about the fee Chelsea owe his club for Ethan Ampadu. The 17-year-old centre-back/defensive midfielder joined Chelsea from Exeter City over the summer. Although he’s currently sidelined with a broken ankle, he was impressive in four starts in the FA and League Cups and even had a 10-minute cameo in the Premier League against Huddersfield.
Chelsea and the Grecians couldn’t agree on a fee and the matter is going to a tribunal, which will determine how much the League Two team are owed. Apparently impatient with the process and possibly worried that the big, bad Premier League club would ride roughshod over his little outfit, an Exeter City fan named Steve Dart wrote a letter to Roman Abramovich.
And he heard back. Admittedly, from Bruce Buck and not Roman himself, but still, The Board Spoke.
We don’t have the text of Steve Dart’s his letter, but thanks to DevonLive, we do have the text of Bruce Buck’s response, which is just as civil and proper as you’d hope it would be.
Pretty good response from the Chairman of the Board, nice and polite if not all that revealing beyond basic procedural information, which ol’ Steve surely would’ve been able to find out for himself with a big of Google searching. But the personal touch is still nice to see.
As far as when might the tribunal finally set a price to be paid to Exeter City ... your guess is as good as ours or Steve’s or Bruce’s or anyone else’s for that matter. For Chelsea, it probably won’t make much difference, but for Exeter, it could be a significant boost.
In other Ethan Ampadu news, you should read this interview with Nizaar Kinsella.