In his fifth Exclusive Column for caughtoffside, super-agent Rob Segal lifts the lid on what’s really going on in British football.
Marina Granovskaia’s Chelsea future is out of her hands…
American businessman Todd Boehly appears close to finally taking over Chelsea.
Understandably, fans are wondering what may happen to some of the club’s most influential employees and when it comes to Roman Abramovich’s staff force at Chelsea, there is perhaps none more influential than director Marina Granovskaia.
From a buyer’s perspective, when you’re paying that sort of money to take over a business, you’re going to want your own people in there. Maybe not immediately because only people who don’t know what they’re doing make immediate changes, you do it slowly while you assess your personnel.
They’ll see how experienced she is. She is probably one of the longest-serving people there and very good, but the new American owners will want their own in and Granovskaia is Abramovich’s right-hand lady and part of his inner workings for many years even before Chelsea, so they’ll definitely be looking to put their own mechanisms in place.
When it comes to the possibility of her leaving Chelsea and staying in football, I don’t think from a global standpoint, that anybody is willing to employ Russians at the moment. I certainly can’t see her staying in the English game.
In my opinion, I think American owners will take what information they can from Granovskaia and the likes and then part ways and bring in their own people, top to bottom.
Eddie Howe is the Premier League’s ‘Manager of the Season’
I thought when Eddie Howe first went in there, it was a tricky decision but the way he has settled down it is clear that his success at Bournemouth wasn’t a coincidence.
If he gets the backing, which I am sure he will, added to the fact he has very good people around him, England coach Graeme Jones, for example, then he’ll continue to go from strength to strength and certainly head towards the European spots.
When it comes to ‘Manger of the Season’ candidates, it’s easy to say Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola, but Howe for me is the one.
When he came in, they looked dead and buried and sure, he made some very good signings in January but he’s also got the absolute maximum out of the players that were already there.
It is time more was done to stop pitch invasions…
Things need to be done. We don’t want to go back to the 1970s – the days of electric fences.
At Wembley, they have a fence horizontally set so to get onto the pitch definitely makes it harder and takes a lot longer.
There are all sorts of problems. Whenever I see a pitch invasion, the first thing I think of is claustrophobia. The players just disappear among a mountain of supporters. But of course, it isn’t just that, it’s the violence that happens too.
Billy Sharp got head-butted recently and then there is what happened with Patrick Vieira at Goodison Park on Thursday night. I deplore anybody to walk through a tunnel of hate.
When it comes to Vieira, he had to walk the gauntlet, all the way over to the far side and he was taking a few digs along the way – the man who got kicked must have said something that was well below the belt. Nobody else in the world is expected to say ‘because of the job I do, I am allowed to be verbally and physically abused’ – so why is it not the same for those who work in football? – Airlines prosecute abusive behaviour against staff, what makes football employees any different? – Nothing. Do something the football association for goodness sake, someone will get seriously hurt or worse if you don’t act NOW!
If Vieira gets any kind of punishment for what happened, I think it would be a total disgrace. If anything, Everton needs to be punished for not policing the event properly. What makes it even more laughable is they were celebrating avoiding relegation after wasting half a billion pounds.
Everton would have known if they won the fans would have invaded the pitch and they would have known that if they lost the fans would have invaded the pitch. It was always going to happen and I do wonder just how much worse it would have been if the final result was the same as it was at half-time.
Fans need to enjoy the game and stay on the terraces, or take the ban and accept a massive fine. It isn’t the player’s fault so they shouldn’t be penalised.