Man in suit Damian Willoughby join Chelsea


Chelsea appoint new commercial director Image: Damian Willoughby ( LinkedIn)

Damian Willoughby has left his position as Commercial Director at EA Sports to become the Premier League club Chelsea F.C.’s (UK) new Commercial Director.

‘Chelsea News’ stated that the man in the suit has experience in football. He previously worked for the Indian branch of City Football Group. The hope of Todd Boehly and company (new custodians of Chelsea F.C.) is that he will bring some of their (City Football Group) tactics to the Premier League club side.

Redwood City, California (US)-based EA Sports is a division of Electronic Arts that develops and publishes sports video games. Formerly a marketing gimmick of Electronic Arts, in which they tried to imitate real-life sports networks by calling themselves the ‘EA Sports Network’ (EASN) with pictures or endorsements with real commentators such as John Madden, it soon grew up to become a sub-label on its own, releasing game series such as FIFA, NHL, NBA Live and Madden NFL.

The Chelsea Football Club is an English professional football club based in Fulham, West London (UK). Founded in 1905, they play their home games at the Stamford Bridge. The club competes in the Premier League, the top division of English football. They won their first major honour, the League championship, in 1955.

The Stamford Bridge is a football stadium in Fulham, adjacent to the borough of Chelsea in West London (UK). It is the home of Premier League club Chelsea F.C. With a capacity of 40,341, it is the ninth largest venue of the 2022-2023 Premier League seasons.

Manchester (UK)-based the City Football Group Limited is a holding company that administers association football clubs. The group is owned by three organizations, of which 78 percent is majority owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group, 10 percent by the American firm Silver Lake and 12 percent by the Chinese firms China Media Capital and CITIC Capital.

In November 2019, the City Football Group agreed to a deal to acquire a majority stake in Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League, marking a major move into Indian football.

In a deal reportedly worth over $4 billion, Chelsea has been bought by a consortium led by American billionaire Todd Boehly in May this year with a majority of the capital coming from investment firm Clearlake Capital. Property developer Jonathan Goldstein is seen as the second in command.

‘Chelsea News’ further stated that Willoughby has a history with Chelsea as well, up until 2010, he served as the club’s Head of Sponsorship, so in a way, this is a homecoming.

All of this is a part of the club’s top to bottom restructuring, which began as soon as the purchase was finalized.

As the new ownership group takes control of the club, there have been changes at every level, affecting everyone from players to young coaches to Directors Marina and Petr Cech.

As Clearlake looks to step up Chelsea F.C.’s commercial side, this type of action was precisely what the club anticipated, and there should be numerous more like it in the months to come.

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