Arnesen set to quit Blues

Both parties were keen to stress that it is the Dane’s decision to

move on when his contract expires next summer. The timing of the

announcement also provides the Blues with plenty of time to decide

if they need to restructure their academy set-up. Arnesen’s

departure comes just weeks after Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team

coach, Ray Wilkins, was axed. Michael Emenalo, who was already on

the club’s coaching staff, has since been appointed as his

successor. The decision to remove Wilkins from his post was taken

by Chelsea, while Arnesen has simply decided it is time to move on

to pastures new following the success of the club’s academy. “It is

always difficult to take big decisions like this, but it is

entirely my decision,” insisted Arnesen. “I’m looking forward to

continuing my work here until such time as the club decides which

way they want to move forward. “With that in mind I wanted to make

the decision now, giving the club plenty of time to make the

necessary plans for the end of the season. “It has been a privilege

and an honour for me to work for such a big club with so many great

people. “After six wonderful years I have decided to seek a new

challenge when my contract expires at the end of this season. “It

has been a tremendous journey and I would like to thank everyone at

Chelsea, especially Roman Abramovich, for giving me the incredible

opportunity to help build on the club’s academy and youth system

along with our greatly talented academy and scouting staff. “We are

now seeing the fruits of that labour as our stated aim was to get

one player from the academy into the first team each year from

2010. “We have a great crop of young players now coming through,

and I feel it’s the right time for me to start looking towards a

new challenge. “The past two years I’ve worked more closely with

the first team as sporting director, and it has been a joy to work

alongside Carlo and this exceptionally talented squad and staff.”

Chelsea’s youngsters are now swiftly becoming part of the

first-team set-up, 17-year-old Josh McEachran in particular, and

Arnesen’s efforts were praised by chairman Bruce Buck. “Frank has

spoken to me several times over the past year with regards to

seeking new challenges, so his decision comes as no surprise to

us,” declared Buck. “Frank has done an exceptional job here at

Chelsea over the last six years and the incredibly strong academy

and youth system Frank leaves behind him is a fitting tribute to

his time. “We do appreciate that he has given us plenty of notice

which gives us time to consider whether and how we restructure the

football department.”