Chelsea: “Inappropriate messages” topple the club’s commercial director

  • Alistair Magwan
  • BBC

Chelsea have sacked their commercial director Damian Willoughby after the latter sent what he described as “inappropriate messages” to Catalina Kim, the financial agent involved in the commercial aspects of football.

Damien had sent those letters to Catalina before joining the club last month.

Catalina was involved in a bid to buy Chelsea FC, located in west London, last March.

A club spokesman said: “Chelsea can confirm the immediate termination of its contract with commercial director Damian Willoughby.”

The spokesman added: “Evidence of inappropriate messages sent by Willoughby, prior to his appointment to Chelsea earlier this month, had reached the club which, in turn, investigated it.”

He continued: “Although the letters were sent before Willoughby’s appointment to the club, this behavior is completely contrary to the culture and work environment approved by the new owners of Chelsea.”

Willoughby started last month with a new job at Stamford Bridge (Chelsea), after an investment alliance led by American businessman Todd Boley, with the support of Clearlake Capital Group, bought the club.

Willoughby began working with Chelsea from 2007 to 2010. Willoughby has also worked for Manchester City and EA Sports.

But he was fired before one month had passed.

The British newspaper, The Telegraph, which preceded the publication of the story, said that Catalina had sent the news of the letters to Chelsea’s business chief Tim Glick, who had appointed Willoughby.

C&B Sports, Catalina’s company, was involved in a bid to buy the Chelsea appeal, which was up for auction by its former owner Roman Abramovich earlier this year.

A Chelsea spokesperson added: “The club’s owners work tirelessly to set and achieve the highest standards both on and off the pitch, and are determined to nurture a culture of transparency, accountability, inclusion, diversity and opportunity. The club is committed to creating the right climate for these values.”

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