News & Current Affairs

Chelsea's Damian Willoughby Sacked For Sexual Advances At Female Investor

By Azeezat Okunlola | Sep 22, 2022

Chelsea football club has dismissed its commercial director Damian Willoughby after discovering he had sent "inappropriate messages" before his employment to a female investor. 

“Evidence of inappropriate messages sent by Mr Willoughby, before his appointment at Chelsea FC earlier this month, has recently been provided to and investigated by the club,” a club spokesperson told Reuters. “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.”

Multiple reports say that Mr Willoughby had been sending these messages to Catalina Kim, a football financing agent, since last year. The report went on to say that Mr Willoughby's attorneys had declined to comment as well as Mr Willoughby himself.

Note that Mr Willoughby has been at Chelsea since early this month, when an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital acquired the club.

The Violence and Harassment Convention (No. 190) and its accompanying Recommendation (No. 206) were adopted during the International Labor Organization's (ILO) Centenary Conference in June 2019. A worldwide consensus has made it clear that workplace violence and harassment will not be accepted and must stop. These seminal instruments, crafted by representatives from governments, businesses, and employees, outline a shared framework for preventing and responding to violence and harassment in the workplace, emphasising doing so in a way that is both gender-responsive and comprehensive.

The ILO Committee of Experts observed that “sexual harassment undermines equality at work by calling into question the integrity, dignity and well-being of workers. It damages an enterprise by weakening the bases upon which work relationships are built and impairing productivity.”

Also, according to a poll conducted by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) with 311 female participants, 38 per cent of harassed women reported leaving their jobs early because of the experience, while 37 per cent reported that the harassment had prevented them from advancing in their respective fields.