Emenalo reveals ordeals at Chelsea

first_imgFormer Chelsea Technical Director Michael Emenalo has opened up on the prejudice and hardship he faced while steering the ship of one of the world’s biggest football clubs.After originally joining the Blues as chief scout, Emenalo progressed through the ranks to take a seat at the top table, overseeing Chelsea’s crucial matters and developing the club’s youth system, which can be seen bearing fruit today. Yet Emenalo feels “the narrative that white is good has to change”.He revealed in an exclusive interview with the Guardian, while documenting for the first time the extent of some of the discrimination he faced.Emenalo admitted that it was incredibly difficult holding such a high position yet wanting to speak out more on race related issues, with an expectance placed on him to become something of an activist.Yet even at the start of his Chelsea reign, Emenalo revealed the shocking extent of the scepticism that met his appointment.“Some people said: ‘Why did this Russian owner, who knows thousands and thousands of people, confide in him? He’s African so he must have killed somebody for the owner.’ “No one stopped to think it could possibly be because of my intellect or experience.“When I was appointed (as technical director) some journalists didn’t think I spoke English.“They said I had never played the game.”This, of course, was far from true.Emenalo wore 14 caps for Nigeria and marked Diego Maradona and Gabriel Batistuta in the 1994 World Cup. He was named as one of the side’s stand-out performers at the tournament.Emenalo went on to work with some of the world’s most high profile managers, and happened to be responsible for giving several of them marching orders on multiple occasions.Yet although he gained more experience as the seasons passed by, Chelsea’s former technical director always felt like he had that little bit more to prove.“Everybody has a misconception of my knowledge, insight and experience. I did it 10 times with 10 managers,” said Emenalo.RelatedPosts Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel Chelsea sink Brighton to make winning start “Each time I climbed the hill and convinced them of my worth. I have a university degree in international relations and diplomacy. I know how to deal with people and with situations. I had World Cup experience and been part of this industry on five continents,” he outlined.“I said: ‘I’ll give them an opportunity to understand me.’ They all did but it’s not easy starting from ground zero every time.”Tags: ChelseaMichael EmenaloRoman Abramovichlast_img

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