A former Nigerian international, Michael Emenalo, has resigned from his role as Chelsea’s technical director, the club has announced.
The ex-Super Eagles defender has been a key figure behind the scenes at the club for the past decade.
He worked in the scouting and coaching departments before being promoted to his current role in 2011, taking over responsibility for Chelsea’s player recruitment and youth department.
Arguably owner Roman Abramovich’s most trusted lieutenant, Emenalo has often been viewed as a controversial figure at the club.
During his 10 years at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have won a host of major honours but have had 10 different managers in that time.
Emenalo is understood to have a friendly relationship with current boss Antonio Conte but there have been reports of tensions behind the scenes over the club’s transfer dealings.
It is being reported that Emenalo, who was in the Nigerian team to the USA 1994 World Cup already has an offer at French club, Monaco.
Announcing his decision, as quoted on Chelsea’s website, 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.”