In our previous part of the series, “The Unsung Heroes at Chelsea Working Backdoors” we provided our readers with an insight to the backroom management staff and scouts working in a closely knit environment at the club.
In a sport dominated by men, there aren’t too many clubs who are quite keen to employ women and keep them involved into the first team matters of big management decision-making system. Chelsea, though are a rare exception. Today we take a look at two of the most important women who are also a part of the heart and soul behind the closed doors at Stamford Bridge.
Marina Granovskaia: The Blues had to deal with the unfortunate resignation of CEO Ron Gourlay a few days ago. Enter, a certain Russian. If reports across major British Tabloids are set to be believed, then Marina Granovskaia, 39, is set to take over behind the scenes, paving a path for here to become one of the most powerful women in World Football. Very little is known of the lady, whose smile will blow you away. However, it is now known that she worked for Roman Abramovich since leaving Moscow State University in 1997 and since has been his ‘his voice on ground’. Granovskaia has been ‘the most trusted member’ for Amrahimovic since his bought Chelsea a decade and a half ago.
She studied at a Moscow school which specialised in music and dance and graduated months after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The 39 year old also studied in the Foreign Languages Faculty of Moscow State University before starting her career at Sibneft, the Oil company which was then owned by Abramovich. Not many Chelsea fans however know he steel grit behind the captivating smile. Captain John Terry was asked to ‘take it or f****** leave it’ when trying to renegotiate his contract with during the summer.
Moreover, Granovskaia was one the key personnel who brought Jose Mourinho back at the club for his second stint at Stamford Bridge. Diego Costa who arrived in Chelsea in the summer was also one of her key signings and as Abramovich claims, “She’s on top of any small thing to the biggest thing. Any small problem I contact her with, she deals with it on top of everything else she has on her shoulders. She is fluent in English and speaks several other European languages, and is said to be one of the primary architects behind Chelsea’s youth scheme – by taking young talent and sending them on loan to develop.”
Eva Carneiro: Chelsea’s first team doctor Eva Carneiro is well known throughout the entire Football fraternity. She was born in Gibraltar and studied medicine at Nottingham University before working in emergency surgery in the Highlands. She also has a Masters of Science besides her name after completing her thesis at West Ham. Carneiro joined Chelsea in 2009 as a reserve team doctor, but it was Andre Villas-Boas who brought her to the first team in 2011. She has also had a learning experience in Australia.
She had an interest in Football from a long time and got more involved while dealing with injuries in her personal career. She has also worked at the British Olympic Medical Institute, helping athletes at the Beijing Olympics, and with the England Women’s football team.