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Sep 17, 2009

Chelsea announce Gourlay as Kenyon's replacement

Chelsea have announced that their chief operating officer Ron Gourlay will replace the departing Peter Kenyon as the club's new chief executive.

Kenyon confirmed on Wednesday that he would be relinquishing his role at the end of October, taking up a position as a non-executive director, and Chelsea have wasted little time in announcing his successor.

In Gourlay, they have promoted from within to bestow huge responsibility on a man who has spent five years at the club in a variety of roles. He has also worked in senior positions with Manchester United and Umbro - two of Kenyon's former employers.

"It is a huge honour to be offered the chance to lead Chelsea," Gourlay told the club's official website. "We have a fantastic team both on and off the field and those teams can move us onto 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 sides 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."

It has been reported that a power struggle with sporting director Frank Arnesen and director Eugene Tenenbaum played a role in Kenyon's departure but Chelsea have made clear that Gourlay will be in control of all aspects of the club.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck added: "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.

"He has the total support of the board and Roman [Abramovich] and both the football and business elements of the club will report to him."

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