Chelsea Director of Communications leaves for Formula 1
Chelsea's Director of Communications and Public Affairs Steve Atkins has left the Premier League club to take up a role in Formula 1.
Atkins has worked at Chelsea for 14 years, but now will be the Chief Communications Officer at McLaren.
He is the latest senior figure to leave the Stamford Bridge club, following the departures of head coach Thomas Tuchel, director Marina Granovskaia, and technical and performance advisor Petr Cech.
Many fans have said that Atkins' departure is just the next step of new owner Todd Boehly's clearout of the club, but it looks as if the opportunity to join McLaren came at the right time, especially with the Formula 1 team singing his praises to confirm his imminent arrival.
During his time at Chelsea, Atkins was responsible for the "club’s external global media relations, issue and crisis management and public affairs work."
This would have included dealing with the media and fans during the turbulent time when the UK government issued sanctions on Chelsea and forced Roman Abramovich to sell the team.
Boehly was also effusive in his praise on Chelsea's official website, stating "On behalf of everyone at the club, we want to thank Steve for his 14 years of dedication to Chelsea F.C. We have greatly valued his advice and counsel, and will continue to leverage his experience and knowledge over the next few months. We wish him every success in his new senior role at McLaren Racing."
Atkins will continue to act as a senior advisor for Chelsea over the next few months and is due to assist with the club as they appoint his replacement.