Chelsea's technical director Michael Emenalo quits club amidst mixed reactions

The former Nigeria international was the technical director of the club for 10 years

Michael Emenalo
Michael Emenalo Reuters

Michael Emenalo has shocked Chelsea by stepping down from his position as technical director, despite a plea from Roman Abramovich to stay.

As reported by the Telegraph, Emenalo brought his 10-year association with the club to an end following the victory over Manchester United.

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It is understood Emenalo made his decision during the summer but delayed his departure to suit Chelsea and cause the minimum amount of upheaval.

And senior Blues sources say it was no surprise to them that Emenalo stood down as the former Notts County defender, who played at World Cup 1994 for Nigeria, had made it clear to Chelsea as far back as the summer that he was considering his future and he is understood to want to spend some time with his family before making any decision over his next challenge.

The move may be viewed in some quarters as a victory for head coach Antonio Conte, who has wanted more control over transfers and whose own future has been the source of speculation.

As per The Sun, Emenalo was at loggerheads with chief executive Marina Granovskaia over the manager's Stamford Bridge tenure.

Ray Wilkins has suggested Michael Emenalo was not needed at Chelsea and in fact was causing problems for Antonio Conte.

The 52-year-old originally joined Chelsea as part of the scouting team when Avram Grant took charge in 2007 before going on to replace Wilkins as assistant first team coach three years later. And six years ago he took up the role as the club's technical director where he oversaw responsibilities such as heading the scouting and academy programs.

Wilkins has revealed he never got on with the former Nigeria international before going on to suggest Emenalo's role became idle with Chelsea going after the world's best players.

"Unfortunately Michael and I didn't see eye-to-eye," Wilkins told BBC 5 Live, as reported by the Express.

"The most important thing at a club like Chelsea is when you're getting players in, it's what the coach wants. And the players, more often than not you're bringing into a club like Chelsea, are world-class footballers anyway. So you know you need to bring in to improve.

"It's the same with Manchester United. Jose will decide who comes in to Manchester United, no one else. And I honestly do believe that Antonio Conte should have his own way, bring who he wants to bring in."

Emenalo said: "This has been a very difficult decision to make but one I believe is right for both me and family, and the club.

"I had the privilege to work with some of the most talented people in the world of sport.

"And I'll depart incredibly proud of the achievements we made."