Legend leaves Chelsea as post-Abramovich exodus continues


The Blues have announced the departure of club icon Petr Cech

Chelsea have announced the departure of goalkeeping icon Petr Cech as technical and performance adviser, continuing a series of high-profile changes in the London club’s hierarchy since its new US owners took over from Russian businessman Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea confirmed the news in a statement on Monday, thanking Cech for his service in a role he took up in 2019.

“Since his appointment three years ago, Cech has provided advice and guidance on all football and performance matters throughout the Club, while strengthening the links between our men’s and Academy teams,” read the message.

Chelsea’s new co-owner Todd Boehly – who has become the leading figure since assuming control at Stamford Bridge alongside investment group Clearlake Capital – paid tribute to Cech, suggesting it had been the former goalkeeping star’s decision to depart.

“Petr is an important member of the Chelsea family. We understand his decision to step away and thank him for his contributions as an advisor and his commitment to the club and to our community. We wish him the best,” said the US financier.

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Cech, 40, himself cited the change in ownership as the trigger for his exit.

“It has been a huge privilege to perform this role at Chelsea for the past three years,” said the former Czech international.  

“With the Club under new ownership, I feel now is the right time for me to step aside. I am pleased that the Club is now in an excellent position with the new owners, and I am confident of its future success both on and off the pitch,” added Cech, who helped Chelsea to four Premier League titles as a player as well as a Champions League crown

Cech’s exit follows the departure last week of Bruce Buck as club chairman and Marina Granovskaia as director.

The pair were integral figures at Stamford Bridge under the tenure of former owner Abramovich, with Granovskaia in particular said to have been running the club on behalf of the Russian billionaire.

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Monday’s announcement that Cech was joining Buck and Granovskaia in leaving is just the latest sign of the shakeup underway since Boehly and his partners acquired the club in a deal worth £4.25 billion ($5.2 billion) last month.

Boehly, who is also co-owner of baseball team the LA Dodgers, is reported to have taken over control of issues such as transfer dealings, with head coach Thomas Tuchel also being given more clout.

It was reported last week that Boehly had sanctioned spending of around £200 million on transfers this summer, although Blues are yet to see the arrival of new talent.

READ MORE: Abramovich successor approves mammoth Chelsea transfer pot – report

Reports have indicated that Boehly is considering at least three options to replace Granovskaia as sporting director, with the likes of highly-respected former Liverpool figure Michael Edwards included on the list, as well as former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star Maxwell.

Cech assumed his role as technical and performance adviser at Chelsea after retiring as a player at London rivals Arsenal in 2019.

He was said to have worked closely with Granovskaia on transfer targets and acted as a front-facing figure of the hierarchy when speaking to disgruntled fans during the ill-fated European Super League plans last year.        

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