Chelsea promotes Gourlay to chief executive

Chelsea has moved quickly to replace chief executive Peter Kenyon by promoting marketing veteran Ron Gourlay to the post.

Gourlay steps from his current position of chief operating officer following Kenyon’s resignation earlier this week.

Like Kenyon, Gourlay joined the West London club from Manchester United, where he was commercial director in charge of club merchandising.

Also like Kenyon, he worked at sportswear manufacturer Umbro, where he spent 16 years as sales and marketing director.

Gourlay says he wants to move the club’s sponsorship deals with the likes of Samsung, adidas, Etihad to the “next level”, as well as developing “new and exciting opportunities in other areas and with other companies in key markets around the world.”

Kenyon is to step down as chief executive at the end of October. He will continue at the London club as a non-executive director and continue to represent Chelsea in a number of capacities, including committee roles with Uefa.

There have been persistent rumours linking with him Manchester City following the club’s takeover by Abu Dhabi United Group.