Gourlay to replace Kenyon as Chelsea chief executive

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The Independent Football

Chelsea today named Ron Gourlay as their new chief executive.

The 46-year-old replaces Peter Kenyon, who announced yesterday he would be stepping down from the position at the end of next month.

Gourlay, who was previously the chief operating officer at the London club, told Chelsea's official website: "It is a huge honour to be offered the chance to lead Chelsea."



Gourlay continued: "We have a fantastic team both on and off the field and those teams can move us on to even greater success in the future.

"To be responsible for that is a fantastic challenge and I will be giving it my total commitment, drive and energy.

"All successful clubs strike the balance between the footballing and commercial sides and my role is to ensure this happens as it is a critical part of our strategy moving forward."

Gourlay has been at Chelsea for five years in a variety of roles. He has more than 25 years of experience in football and past senior jobs include working at Manchester United and Umbro.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: "Ron was the outstanding candidate for the job. It was not necessary to look outside as we had someone with all the necessary attributes inside which was important as it ensures continuity and a smooth transition."

Buck said Gourlay had the full support of the board and the club's owner, Roman Abramovich.

He added: "We are absolutely confident that he can now take us forward into the next stage of our development as a club and business."

Kenyon, who insists he has "at least one major challenge left", will continue at the club on UEFA and the European Clubs' Association committees and will be one of the representatives in the Gael Kakuta case, regardless of whether it is heard after his October 31 departure date.

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