Chelsea said they have terminated the employment of commercial director Damian Willoughby with immediate effect.

The English Premier League side said Willoughby’s sacking came after receiving evidence he had sent “inappropriate messages” before his appointment.

Willoughby began working at Chelsea earlier this month following the club’s take-over by an investment group led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.

“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,” 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.”

Willoughby has yet to reply to a request for comment from Reuters.

It was reported in British media that Willoughby had been sending the messages to a football finance agent from last year.

The report added that Willoughby’s lawyers had declined to comment.(Reuters/NAN)