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Chelsea fire commercial director over ‘inappropriate messages’

Chelsea commercial director

Chelsea fired commercial director Damian Willoughby for sending ‘inappropriate messages’ to a finance agent last year. The improper interactions occurred prior to his employment with the Blues. Chelsea only brought on Willoughby to the position about two weeks ago before letting him go.

A spokesperson for Chelsea explained the sacking to Reuters on Wednesday. “Evidence of inappropriate messages sent by Mr. Willoughby, prior to his appointment at Chelsea FC earlier this month, has recently been provided to and investigated by the club.”

“While they were sent prior to his employment at the club, such behavior runs absolutely counter to the workplace environment and corporate culture being established by the club’s new ownership.”

New Chelsea owner Todd Boehly hired Willoughby on Sep. 6. Previously, the former commercial director at Chelsea worked with City Football Group, as well as EA Sports. His goal at the club was to bring in significant money outside of revenue earned on actual matchdays.

Boehly Premier League all-star game

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly

Chelsea fire commercial director

The commercial director actually worked with Chelsea as the head of sponsorship over a decade ago. He departed the club to work inside the City Football Group, with his last position being CEO of City Football India in 2021. Willoughby left this job to work with EA Sports where he was the vice president of partnerships.

Willoughby joins a host of people involved with Chelsea to depart the club in recent months. Since Boehly bought Chelsea this summer, there have been a multitude of changes within the team’s hierarchy. Chairman Bruce Buck, director Marina Granovskaia, and advisor Petr Cech have all left the club.

Also, Boehly fired head coach Thomas Tuchel earlier this month. The west London outfit is currently searching for a new sporting director to replace the aforementioned Granovskaia. RB Salzburg executive Christoph Freund rejected the chance to take the job at Chelsea earlier this week.

PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images

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