Chelsea: Marina Granovskaia 'clashed with Mino Raiola and uses WhatsApp chats to get deals done'


REVEALED: Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia ‘clashed with Mino Raiola, uses late-night WhatsApp chats to get deals done and left agents stunned with her uncompromising manner’, say insiders in a L’Equipe profile on the Blues’ ‘enigma’

  • French newspaper L’Equipe has undertaken a deep dive on Marina Granovskaia 
  • It is said that the Chelsea chief has an ‘uncompromising manner’ with agents 
  • Mino Raiola, Romelu Lukaku’s agent, is reported to have clashed with her
  • A trusted lieutenant for Roman Abramovich, she has been labelled as an ‘enigma’

Chelsea ‘enigma’ Marina Granovskaia is someone who prefers to operate away from the cameras but the ‘uncompromising’ Blues chief has been detailed at length by insiders by French newspaper L’Equipe.

The extensive profile on Chelsea’s managing director paints a picture of an intellectual who has the steel to take on agents, including Mino Raiola.

Raiola, one of the most powerful football agents in the world and the representative for Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, is reported to have ‘clashed’ with Granovskaia.

The Russian executive, who assumed her director role at Chelsea in 2013, is, unnamed agents said in the profile, someone who often works ‘at impossible times’ and likes to conduct her business via messaging platform WhatsApp.  

Marina Granovskaia (left), a close confidant of Roman Abramovich (right), has been profiled

Marina Granovskaia (left), a close confidant of Roman Abramovich (right), has been profiled

French newspaper L'Equipe details her 'uncompromising' approach to dealing with agents

French newspaper L’Equipe details her ‘uncompromising’ approach to dealing with agents

The profile explains that when she was appointed by owner Roman Abramovich, agents ‘thought she was going to be easy to handle’ but that has not come to pass.

She is one of Abramovich’s most trusted confidantes and is the one who runs the club from London while he is away.

While Granovskaia endeavours to ‘work under the radar’, some insiders say that she has endeared herself to colleagues.   

‘When you know her, you discover someone nice, funny and very cultured,’ Olivier Létang, president of Lille, is quoted as saying.

Her relationship with Abramovich goes back well beyond her nine years at Chelsea.

Granovskaia, who has Russian and Canadian citizenship, worked as Abramovich’s personal assistant at his oil company, Sibneft, in 1997. 

She was brought to London in 2003 when Abramovich purchased Chelsea and took a position on the board a decade later, with the Times declaring her the ‘most powerful woman in football’. 

Granovskaia is the chief negotiator for new players and contract renewals and while she has been praised for her role in convincing veteran defender Thiago Silva to join, it was her display at the negotiating table for the sale of Eden Hazard that captured attention. 

Hazard had a year left on his Chelsea contract in 2019 when Real Madrid aggressively pursued a deal for the Belgian attacker. 

Negotiations were described as ‘long’ but Granovskaia ‘had a clear amount’ and was unwilling to cave to pressure from Real Madrid.  

It is said she was willing to keep Hazard for another year and lose him for nothing than sell on the cheap. 

In the end she pulled off a reported deal of £134million in three instalments.  

Granovskaia, who was in Abu Dhabi to see Chelsea win the Club World Cup, has been described as ‘a savvy and fine leader’ who is ‘available and uncompromising’ in her work, which has led to Chelsea becoming reigning European champions. 

Forbes ranked her fifth overall back in 2018 in their ‘Most Powerful Women in International Sports’ list.

In addition, Granovskaia’s work was recognised on a global scale when she received the Best Club Director in European football award back in December. 



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