Chelsea sack commercial director Damian Willoughby over ‘inappropriate messages’

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Chelsea have sacked commercial director Damian Willoughby (Getty Images)
Chelsea have sacked commercial director Damian Willoughby (Getty Images)

Chelsea’s commercial director Damian Willoughby has been sacked only weeks after starting the job over “inappropriate messages” sent prior to his appointment.

Willoughby began working at Chelsea earlier this month following the club's takeover by an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, but has now seen his contract terminated with immediate effect.

He had previously held posts at Manchester City and gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA), as well as at Chelsea in an earlier stint of employment.

A club statement said: “Chelsea Football Club confirms that it has terminated Commercial Director Damian Willoughby’s employment with immediate effect.

“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 behaviour runs absolutely counter to the workplace environment and corporate culture being established by the Club’s new ownership.

“The Club’s owners are working tirelessly to set and achieve the highest standards both on and off the pitch, and are determined to establish and nurture a culture of transparency, accountability, inclusivity, diversity and opportunity. The Club is committed to creating an environment which embodies these values.”

The Telegraph newspaper, which first reported the story, said Mr Willoughby had not responded to a request for comment.