Revealed! See Why Emenalo Quit Chelsea
Fresh facts have emerged on why Chelsea Technical Director and former Nigerian international footballer, Michael Emenalo decided to throw in the towel with the English Premier League club where he had worked for good 10 years.
The Emenalo who happened to be the only member of Abramovich’s executive team with playing experience, and over time earned Abramovic’s trust holding positions in the scouting and academy programme that is now bearing fruit for the club, confirmed his resignation on Monday.
“This has been a very difficult decision to make, but one I believe is right for both myself and my family, and the club,” Emenalo said even as his resignation has been linked to the frustrating summer transfer window Chelsea suffered, which caused tension between Conte, Emenalo and director Marina Granovskaia.
Abramovich visited Chelsea’s Cobham training ground last week, when it is likely Emenalo will have discussed the matter with the Russian.
The move to bring his 10-year association with the club to an end may be viewed in some quarters as a victory for Conte, but Emenalo said he remained supportive of the Italian who he helped to appoint last year.
“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,’ he added.
According to a report on Telegraph Uk, Emenalo’s decision is a huge blow to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who counted the 52-year-old among the few people he trusts and takes advice from.With his help, Chelsea have won the Premier League title three times, the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League while Emenalo has been at the club.
Conte is the 10th manager Emenalo has worked with and the former Notts County player has been a vital element of the Abramovich era.
Emenalo first joined Chelsea with Avram Grant in 2007 and worked as an opposition scout and assistant first-team coach under Carlo Ancelotti, replacing Ray Wilkins.
Abramovich’s decision for Emenalo to take over from Wilkins and sit on the Chelsea bench caused controversy and thrust the former defender into the spotlight.
He was promoted to technical director in 2011 and has been largely responsible for player recruitment and Chelsea’s vast youth network.
Emenalo has often been blamed for signings that have not worked out and the number of youngsters sent away on loan, but he has also enjoyed great success in his job.
Eden Hazard is one of his most successful signings, but Emenalo has also been responsible for the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku joining Chelsea.
Emenalo was left frustrated that the likes of De Bruyne and Lukaku were not given a greater chance under former manager Jose Mourinho before they both decided to leave Chelsea.
Often remaining in the background, Emenalo made headlines after Chelsea sacked Mourinho in 2015 by blaming “palpable discord between the players and the manager.”
It is unclear what Emenalo plans to do next or whether Chelsea will immediately attempt to replace him with a new technical director before the January transfer window.
He gained his Uefa Pro Licence this summer and his climb up the football ladder is one of the most impressive in modern football.
Born in Nigeria, Emenalo moved to the United States in 1986 where he graduated from Boston University with a degree in international relations with political sciences.
Having played college football in America, his career continued in Belgium with Molenbeek and Germany with Eintracht Trier before moving to England to play for Notts County in 1994.
During the same year he played in the USA World Cup for Nigeria and won a total of 14 caps for the Super Eagles.
It was at his last club, Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, that Emenalo played under Grant and that association eventually facilitated his move to Chelsea