The Roman Era was always going to come to end at some point — after all, there was a football club here for 100 years before him, and, humanity’s self-destructive tendencies aside, there will probably be one for at least another 100 after — but certainly no one could have anticipated for it to end this suddenly and under such circumstances, even just a few weeks ago.
The end of such a momentous era will bring about massive change at the club, certainly at the top levels of the hierarchy, especially with the Guardian reporting that both chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaia, long-time associates of Abramovich, will follow the Chelsea owner through the exit door. There’s no word on the other two Board members, Guy Laurence (also the CEO) and Eugene Tenenbaum (another long-time associate).
Buck and Granovskaia have been the faces of the business side of Chelsea with Abramovich largely staying in the shadows, especially in the last few years. Buck, a finance guy from New York turned legal advisor and practitioner (and Chelsea fan since 1983) in London, was a key part of Abramovich’s initial takeover in 2003, and has served as chairman since 2004.
Meanwhile, Granovskaia has been running the show at the club in terms of financials, transfers, and day-to-day operations since 2013, recently even collecting an award for “Best Club Director in European Football”.
Hopefully, the structures that have been put in place over the past two decades will be strong enough to bear this seismic shift.