Todd Boehly: Chelsea chairman's 'power move' left Tuchel 'fuming' before sacking

Tuchel as Chelsea head coach

Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly may have only been at the Stamford Bridge helm for a few short months, but he’s already left his mark on the club in an unmistakable fashion.

Dispensing with the services of former head coach Thomas Tuchel just 100 days after his arrival in west London, American businessman Boehly appears every inch as ruthless as his predecessor Roman Abramovich.

The 48-year-old entrepreneur is no stranger to heading up a major sports team, having been co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2012.

However, an MLB franchise is a very different proposition to a Premier League side, mainly due to the considerable differences between baseball and football as sports.

According to reports, Boehly is intent on being ‘hands-on’ at Chelsea in ways that few other Premier League chairman would even contemplate.

“We didn’t share the same vision…”: Boehly on Tuchel sacking

Quizzed about his decision to sack Tuchel at the SALT conference in New York on Tuesday, Boehly revealed, per Metro.co.uk: “We [the Chelsea board] just weren’t sure that Thomas saw the same way we saw. No one’s right or wrong, it’s just we didn’t share a vision for the future. It wasn’t about soccer, it was really about the shared vision for what we wanted Chelsea Football Club to look like.”

Boehly as Chelsea chairman
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 14: Todd Boehly, Owner of Chelsea FC looks on prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on August 14, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Per a recent report from German outlet Sport Bild, per the Daily Mail, Boehly’s vision for the running of the football club saw him having the final say on pretty much all matters, including where new £69.5 million signing Wesley Fofana would have his medical before his move from Leicester.

In what the report describes as ‘a power move’, Boehly insisted that the 21-year-old Frenchman should fly all the way to New York for his medical, despite Chelsea facing a packed calendar of fixtures.

Despite London being home to numerous highly-regarded medical facilities, Boehly declared that Fofana needed to make the trip to the US and reportedly ‘didn’t care’ about the jet lag that the five-hour trip would cause the defender.

Tuchel apparently made it clear that he was unhappy at the arrangements – which would leave Fofana without vital time to settle into the Chelsea squad – but was ultimately ignored.

Even Fofana himself found the situation bizarre, being quoted as saying: “I thought we’d do it [the medical] in London,”.

Tuchel was ‘fuming’ over decision to send Fofana to US for medical

Tuchel described Fofana as being ‘cooked’ [exhausted] after his impromptu trip to the States and the defender’s lack of preparation time showed in the Champions League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb – a loss that would ultimately cost the German his job.

Fofana was caught badly out of position as Mislav Orsic scored the only goal of the game for the Croatian side in a 1-0 victory.

Tuchel would be informed that his services were no longer required the following morning.

Tuchel in final Chelsea press conference
ZAGREB, CROATIA – SEPTEMBER 06: Thomas Tuchel, Manager of Chelsea speaks to the media in the post match speaks to the media in the post match press conference conference after their sides defeat during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Dinamo Zagreb and Chelsea FC at Stadion Maksimir on September 06, 2022 in Zagreb, Croatia. (Photo by Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images)

Marina Granovskaia axed due to ‘Tuchel praise’

Former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel may not have survived for long under Boehly, but he outlasted former Blues director Marina Granovskaia by several months.

Tuchel had a strong working relationship with the Russian-born transfer guru and, according to Sport Bild, told Boehly he ‘would like to see her stay following Abramovich’s departure’.

Within weeks of Boehly’s takeover, though, Granovskaia was gone.

Todd Boehly at Stamford Bridge
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 22: Chelsea owner Todd Boehly after the Premier League match between Chelsea and Watford at Stamford Bridge on May 22, 2022 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

“Apparently Boehly didn’t like that someone contradicted him. He is also said to not have liked the fact that Tuchel praised Granovskaia’s work and the perfect internal processes with her,” claims the report.

One of the few battles that Tuchel did win against Boehly was over the potential signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, as we reported last week.

Ultimately, however, that stance appears to have been a further black mark against Tuchel at a time when Boehly was already losing confidence in his manager.

To all intents and purposes, Boehly appears to strictly want a coach to will look after matters on the field, without getting overly involved in other aspects of club business.

The American has spared no expense in recruiting Graham Potter from Brighton – one of the most respected homegrown coaches on English shores.

Whether Potter will be allowed to run the Chelsea side on his terms remains to be seen.

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