Michael Emenalo has resigned as Chelsea’s technical director, with reports linking him to Ligue 1 giants Monaco.
Emenalo has been a major part of Chelsea’s structure under Roman Abramovich but has seen his role increasingly under pressure in an internal power struggle between Marina Granovskaia, a key Abramovich confidante, and manager Antonio Conte.
The Nigerian, a former Notts County defender, helped bring Conte to Stamford Bridge and has overseen transfers and youth development while the former Juventus boss won a Premier League title in his first season.
A statement on the club’s official website said Michael arrived at Chelsea in 2007, and in 10 years at Stamford Bridge has contributed to a period of unprecedented success for the first team and Academy.
The statement reads further:
Since 2011, he has been the club’s technical director, supporting the work of the first team management, leading the club’s international and domestic scouting network and assisting in driving the technical programmes of our Academy and international youth network.
During Michael’s time with Chelsea, we have lifted three Premier League titles, three FA Cups, the League Cup, Europa League and of course, the Champions League in 2012, becoming the first London club to do so.
Additionally, we have been crowned FA Youth Cup champions six times in eight years and lifted the UEFA Youth League twice, supplying key squad members for England’s Under-20 and Under-17 World Cup successes this year.
Announcing his decision, Emenalo said: ‘This has been a very difficult decision to make, but one I believe is right for both myself and my family, and the club. I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the most talented people in the world of sport over the past 10 years, and I will depart incredibly proud of the achievements we have made. I wish Chelsea every success and look forward to following the club’s future triumphs from afar.’
Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck added: ‘It is with regret that the owner and board of directors accepted Michael’s resignation this week. He has had a tremendous impact on the club over the past 10 years and this is evident in everything we have achieved. We are sorry to see him go but understand his desire to move on and explore new challenges.’
Director Marina Granovskaia said: ‘We are extremely grateful to Michael for his tireless work over the past 10 years. He has played an important role during the most successful period in the club’s history, helping make Chelsea the club it is today. We will now be reviewing our management structure, and Michael will be a part of that process as we look ahead.’
First Team Head Coach Antonio Conte said: ‘I am very sorry to see Michael leave Chelsea, and I would like to thank him for all his help and support since I arrived at this club. I have enjoyed working with him very much, we celebrated a Premier League title together in May, and I wish him the very best for the future.’
Everybody at Chelsea thanks Michael for his loyal service and wishes him well for the future. He will always be welcome back to Stamford Bridge as a friend of the club.