Chelsea government initially dismissed feminine agent’s grievance over inappropriate messages


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Chelsea’s president of enterprise, Tom Glick, advised a feminine agent that her grievance to him a few string of inappropriate messages from a senior government he had employed days earlier didn’t curiosity him and was not related to his job.

Glick’s preliminary response to Catalina Kim got here after she forwarded him historic messages of a sexual nature she had acquired from Damian Willoughby, whose temporary interval as Chelsea’s business director ended final week together with his sacking over the matter.

Willoughby was fired on 20 September, two days after Glick initially sought to minimize Kim’s complaints throughout a cellphone name. Glick mentioned he had set the difficulty apart.

When contacted by the Guardian for this story, Glick’s legal professionals mentioned that regrettably he had not correctly reviewed the screenshots earlier than their phone name. He advised Kim on the decision that he had simply checked out “the headlines”. Earlier than their dialog ended, and after being pressed by Kim, he dedicated to wanting into the problems raised.

Kim had been in talks with Chelsea and Glick on behalf of abroad traders seeking to pump cash into Chelsea’s academy, males’s group, ladies’s group and basis, however developed misgivings after being knowledgeable on 29 August that Willoughby was set to affix the membership in a senior position. Glick, who labored with Willoughby at Manchester Metropolis, arrange a gathering between the trio at Stamford Bridge on 1 September.

After this assembly Kim advised Glick she felt “uncomfortable” working with Willoughby and on 3 September she forwarded to him eight screenshots displaying messages Willoughby had despatched her. Two days later Willoughby began his position at Chelsea, the place he had beforehand labored as head of sponsorship.

After chasing Glick for a reply, Kim organized a name with him on 18 September. Glick, who in July turned the primary appointment of the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital regime at Chelsea, initially mentioned: “I noticed among the headlines of the stuff that you just despatched and I simply set it apart. So it’s not one thing I’m significantly excited about.”

Pressed by Kim, Glick mentioned: “It appears to be like to me like one thing that’s simply not attention-grabbing or related to me by way of operating the enterprise. However what’s your view? Inform me what I’m lacking.”

Catalina Kim.
Catalina Kim. {Photograph}: C&P Sports activities Group

The messages shared by Kim with Glick confirmed that Willoughby introduced up the topic of getting intercourse and requested whether or not she was bare. Willoughby advised he would organize a gathering with the senior Manchester Metropolis government Ferran Soriano if she was keen to be “naughty”. These advances have been repeatedly rejected by Kim, whose talks with Chelsea over her funding proposals are understood to have stalled since she raised her issues.

Kim requested Glick of their cellphone name whether or not he had any issues over how Willoughby interacted with ladies. Glick mentioned: “What I’m saying is I checked out among the headlines that you just despatched and I set it apart. So inform me what your view is. What’s your goal?”

Kim mentioned she was not comfy with Willoughby’s behaviour and had issues over his integrity. Requested whether or not she now not wished to work with Willoughby, she replied that it was right down to Glick, as the one who had employed him, to evaluation whether or not Willoughby ought to proceed in his job. Glick responded: “In order that’s your goal. I believed you wished to attempt to create a partnership with Chelsea.”

That comment drew a stunned response from Kim, who requested Glick whether or not he was saying that she couldn’t create a partnership with Chelsea if she couldn’t work with Willoughby. Glick instantly denied that was what he was saying, main Kim to query how her grievance was related to her doing enterprise with Chelsea.

Glick, questioned by Kim about whether or not he thought her grievance was related to his job, mentioned that he had set it apart. He added that, as she had introduced it up once more, “I suppose I’m going to should take care of it”. Glick continued: “I’ll have to return and have a look at what you despatched. I didn’t have a look at the substance of it.”

When Kim responded that she had chased it up with him a number of instances, Glick mentioned that he had been busy and sick with Covid.

Damian Willoughby, who was sacked by Chelsea on 20 September.
Damian Willoughby, who was sacked by Chelsea on 20 September. {Photograph}: Channels TV

Kim has been launched to Willoughby in 2015, when he was vice-president head of partnership gross sales at Metropolis Soccer Group (CFG), whose steady of golf equipment embrace Manchester Metropolis. Willoughby left Metropolis to affix Digital Arts as vice-president in July 2021.

Kim requested Glick whether or not he was involved that different feminine workers members at CFG, who weren’t in influential positions, may have been subjected to inappropriate behaviour by Willoughby. Glick replied that he would want to evaluation Kim’s screenshots, which he had not completed but. He distanced himself from Willoughby, who in keeping with Kim had advised him that his relationship with Glick was unbreakable.

“Let me return and check out what you’ve despatched me,” Glick mentioned. “And that’s what I’ll do. I’ve not completed it but.”

Glick contacted Kim on 19 September to say that Chelsea have been investigating Willoughby’s messages. Workers on the membership have been knowledgeable in a memo on 20 September that Willoughby had been fired. Glick additionally emailed Kim to thank her for bringing the matter to his consideration.

Glick, a former president of Derby County, was the president of the NFL group the Carolina Panthers in his most up-to-date job earlier than becoming a member of Chelsea. He was CFG’s chief business officer from 2016 to 2018 and was Metropolis’s chief business and working officer between 2012 and 2015. He has been charged with bringing in further enterprise to Chelsea and tasked with kickstarting their plan for a multi-club mannequin.

Chelsea mentioned after Willoughby’s sacking that Willoughby’s behaviour ran “completely counter to the office surroundings and company tradition being established by the membership’s new possession”.

A Chelsea spokesperson mentioned on Friday: “As soon as the severity of the allegations that Catalina Kim raised to Tom Glick had turn out to be obvious relating to the conduct of a brand new rent while in earlier employment, the matter was instantly escalated for evaluation. An investigation was accomplished, and the membership took decisive motion to terminate the person’s employment.

“Mr Glick regrets that he didn’t initially recognize the total extent of the allegations. After chatting with Ms Kim, Mr Glick learn the proof in full and acceptable steps have been taken ensuing within the termination of the person’s employment.

“The membership is dedicated to treating all our stakeholders with dignity and respect and doesn’t tolerate behaviour that falls under the anticipated requirements set by the membership. The membership has provided safeguarding help to Ms Kim and this provide stays open. We take all complaints significantly and have a number of choices for escalation together with the membership’s whistleblowing line, safeguarding group and through our website.”

Chelsea government initially dismissed feminine agent’s grievance over inappropriate messages

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