Chelsea co-owner Behdad Eghbali has remained defiant in the manner with which he oversees the ongoing situation in the English capital as the club patriarch continues to make his presence known in the dressing room and at Cobham despite previous backlash surrounding Todd Boehly’s antics last season.
The 47-year-old Clearlake Capital co-founder remains an active presence in and around the senior squad as the Blues continue to struggle in their second season under the guidance of Blueco, with reports from The Telegraph’s Matt Law detailing a dynamic that “has risked placing more scrutiny on Chelsea’s owners” on the back of his regular post-match visits to the Stamford Bridge dressing room.
Per Law’s report, “Chelsea sources insist Eghbali did not address the players after the defeat to Aston Villa and has not delivered any pep talks during any of his visits, but his presence in the area normally reserved for the head coach, his staff and the players could still prompt debate.”
“Eghbali’s co-controlling owner Todd Boehly was widely criticized for entering the dressing room after last season’s defeat to Brighton and labeling the team “embarrassing” in an address to the players.”
“That has not put off Eghbali, who was spotted leaving the dressing-room area at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s defeat to Villa and it is understood he has made the same trip after every game he has attended this season.”
“Rather than expressing his thoughts to the team during his post-game visits to either the home dressing room or the manager’s office, Eghbali is said to have instead shaken hands with players and coaching staff, and wished individuals well.”
“Regardless of his motives, Eghbali’s post-match presence in the dressing-room area risks inviting further debate over the involvement of the owners, who head coach Mauricio Pochettino admitted were disappointed by his team’s start to the season.”
Eghbali was also reportedly incredibly present during the run-up to the conclusion of the transfer window in what is a clear sign that the Iranian-born investor is intent on a hands-on approach to club ownership.
Whether or not this dynamic plays out well or not over time remains to be seen, but given the growing frustrations in West London in the wake of the Blues’ defeat against Aston Villa in front of home support on Sunday, further scrutiny is sure to flow.