FORMER Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia has made two returns to the club over the past month – but she was not a guest of owners Clearlake Capital or Todd Boehly.
Once dubbed the most powerful woman in football, she left Stamford Bridge with a £20million golden handshake shortly after last year’s takeover as Boehly took control of transfers.
Marina Granovskaia has returned to Stamford Bridge twice recently despite no invite from Todd BoehlyCredit: Rex
She moved to England in 2003 shortly after Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea and joined the club’s plc and football club boards in 2013.
Chelsea won the lot during the Russian-Canadian’s time at the club with successes in the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Super Cup and Club World Cup.
And Granovskaia, who effectively ran the Blues during Roman Abramovich’s latter years as owner, was even recognised for her work in 2021 when she was awarded the “Best Club Director in European football” at the Italian-run Golden Boy awards.
She also worked on the sale of the club to Clearlake and Boehly but even that did not land her a spot in the posh seats on either of her recent returns.
Chelsea Legends, including a now League One defender that only played five times for the club, were in action last night against Bayern Munich in a tribute to the late Gianluca Vialli.
As well as the icons out on the pitch, a host of ex players and staff were invited by the Blues to attend the match.
Granovskaia was spotted sitting in the middle tier of the West Stand during the game, but it has now emerged that she went as a guest of friends rather than being invited by the owners.
Granovskaia was also recently spotted at the Game4Ukraine charity match at the start of August.
And on that occasion she is believed to have purchased general admission tickets.
Yahoo are now stating that “Granovskaia was not invited by the club’s owners on either occasion” and that “she has not been a guest of theirs at Stamford Bridge since leaving”.
Granovskaia was a popular figure during her time their and Chelsea icon Didier Drogba paid tribute to her before the start of last season as he took to Instagram.
He wrote: “First of all, I want to thank Marina for always supporting me in the good moments and even the difficult moments at the club, when most people were criticising me for saying loud (maybe a bit too loud actually) and clear what I felt unfair (Champions League CFC v Barcelona 2009 ).
“Only Marina and a handful of people understood it as someone who cared for the club, the badge and the fans.
“Her contribution to this club is beyond what people on the outside know. Over 19 years she worked so hard to build a world class club and to keep the blue flag flying high in the world of football.”