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Chelsea FC Profile: Martin Spencer

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Full Name: Martin Spencer

Born: Friday, 18th August 1933
Place of birth: Southwark, London, England
Died: Saturday, 7th January 2023 (aged 89)
Burial: Buried - Braywick Cemetery, Braywick Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire

Involvement with Chelsea:

Chief Executive from 1976 to 1982
Vice-chairman from 1982 to 1983

Chelsea FC Obituary - 12 Jan 2023

The self-effacing insolvency expert came into Chelsea’s orbit in 1976, during one of the most difficult periods in the club’s history. He was tasked with stabilising the spiralling debt incurred by the East Stand redevelopment exceeding budget and relegations suffered in 1975 and 1979. So impressive were his endeavours that he was handed the role of chief executive, making him one of the first in football to hold such a title.

Nevertheless, in March 1982 Spencer had received a worrying call from the club’s bankers saying, ‘We have two cheques in today – one for the players’ wages, the other for the FA’s share of proceeds from an FA Cup tie – which one shall we bounce?’ A month later, under Spencer’s guidance, Ken Bates bought Chelsea FC for £1 (not including the debt) and the wolf was kept from the door.

Impressed by Spencer’s radical restructuring skills, Bates elevated him to vice-chairman in the new regime. Spencer parted ways with the club in 1983, but was invited back years later for the opening of the ‘Chelsea World of Sport’ installation. Always happy to avoid the limelight he was amazed to see himself named among Bates’ ‘ten most influential people’ in Chelsea history.

Playing Career:

Chelsea Graves Society Info & External Research Links:

Born at Guys Hospital, died in Berkshire.

Link to the CGS Ancestry profile for Martin Spencer View CGS profile for Martin Spencer on Ancestry

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Picture of Chelseas Martin Spencer