Blues promote COO Gourlay to replace Kenyon

CHELSEA have promoted chief operating officer Ron Gourlay to the role of chief executive following the announcement of Peter Kenyon&rsquo;s imminent departure.<br /><br />Gourlay, 46, has been at Chelsea for more than five years and, like Kenyon, previously held positions at Manchester United and sportswear manufacturers Umbro.<br /><br />&ldquo;It is a huge honour to be offered the chance to lead Chelsea,&rdquo; said Gourlay. &ldquo;We have a fantastic team both on and off the field and those teams can move us onto even greater success in the future.&rdquo;<br /><br />It is expected that recently appointed sporting director Frank Arnesen will take charge of the football side of the club, while Gourlay focuses on business matters. Chelsea announced that Kenyon would be leaving his full-time job at the end of October, but keeping a non-executive director role.<br /><br />Kenyon was lured from United amid fanfare in 2003, but chairman Bruce Buck said there was no need for another head-hunt. He said: &ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t necessary to look outside as we had someone with all the necessary attributes inside which ensures continuity and a smooth transition.&rdquo;<br />