Peter Kenyon has today announced his departure as Chief Executive at the end of next month, ending his full time commitment to Chelsea over the last five and a half years. He will stay on as a non-exec director and represent us on Euro committees, which to be fair, the latter seems to be a full time job in itself.
The news will come as a mixed reaction, and may be welcome by some, those who are short-sighted enough to only look at the football may see the Robinho transfer as a key failure, those who are long sighted and remember that there is a business side of running a football may see his role in a more successful light.
Despite past gripes, since the announcement our forum has been very complimentary of the guy and wishing him well in the future.
Firstly, let’s forget his ties with Man United, or inevitable speculation that he may turn up at City (although given he has not severed all ties with Chelsea such a move seems unlikely to be initiated yet).
Peter Kenyon was not in his job for his football expertise, he was more there for the business side of things, for pushing forward what he cringe worthily referred to as the “Chelsea brand”, sponsorship deals with Adidas and Samsung have brought increased revenue, as has our tours of Asia and America.
Football wise he usually delivered, but with Frank Arneson being made Sporting Director, Kenyon’s role looked increasingly likely to draw to a close, the ‘brand’ was already pushed forward to high levels abroad and the less he had to do with transfers meant the less there was a role for him.
It’s hard to blame him for the Robinho deal, it was handled brilliantly by Kenyon et al, Robinho himself came out and specifically mentioned Chelsea as the team he wanted to join. Who could have predicted that City would come into money when they did.
It’s easy to knock someone, especially a non Chelsea fan, but Peter Kenyon had an extremely hard job, his role was not to please the fans, and he wasn’t bothered if he was liked or not, just if he performed well. And for that, I’d say he has done, and I would certainly rate what Kenyon has done for us as a success.
Thank you Mr Kenyon for the job you did for our club, and provided your future lies outside of Premier League clubs I wish you well in your future roles.
From the top of my head the below is a quickfire list of what I’ll personally remember him for.
Peter Kenyon highs
– His part in recruiting Jose Mourinho.
– Fighting for Jose Mourinho to stay manager.
– Reverting back to the old Chelsea badge
– Giving fans a platform to air their concerns – and actioning our views.
– Agreeing to free and subsidised trains
– Keeping Season Ticket prices the same (except for taking domestic cup matches off)
– Taking flack with dignity and being strong willed enough to fight on through despite a lot of grief.
– Negotiating the signings of many world class players
– Negotiating record kit and sponsorship deals
Peter Kenyon Lows
– Leading the way up the steps in Moscow (I know UEFA said it has to be someone on the board…but still…HIM)
– The Ashley Cole saga
– Giving Gallas a derisory contract offer that resulted in him feeling underappreciated and wanting out
– Breaking the pay structure for Ballack and Sheva, leading to Terry, Lamps and Drogba wanting more money.
– Wanting all three kits to be changed every year
– Being disliked in football and a general PR disaster
Potential Peter Kenyon Lows
– The Gael Kakuta saga (His involvement at youth level is unclear)
– Lying over Gallas’ Own Goal threats (someone well known at Chelsea and very in the know has personally told me he is positive it never happened)
– Allowing and possibly having a hand in the appalling treatment of Steve Clarke and the rest of Mourinho’s backroom team in January 2007 when José wanted them to have new contracts.