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30th Jun 2022

Chelsea launch review into allegations of ‘toxic culture’ inside the club

Callum Boyle

Chelsea toxic culture

There have been allegations of bullying within the club’s marketing team

Chelsea have launched a review into allegations of a ‘toxic culture’ inside the club’s marketing team amid accusations of bullying.

The club’s new owners appointed an “external review team” after the former head of Chelsea TV,  Richard Bignell, committed suicide in January.

A corner’s report later found Bignell had been “deeply troubled by anxiety, depression and despair following the loss of his job.”

A report from the New York Times revealed that the 44-year-old had been sacked in September 2021, after 18 years with the club and without warning a day after he returned from medical leave.

Chelsea toxic culture

Several members of the marketing team have left the club

Reports conducted by the Chelsea team working on the investigation found the new owners have “inherited accusations of a toxic culture” within the Blues’ marketing team.

The New York Times said they had spoken to multiple members of the marketing team who claimed that Bignell had struggled to cope with the aggressive style of management, which often left colleagues in tears.

Other members said that many had been signed off on medical leave and as many as 10 people in the department  – which has a total of 50 members – had left the club altogether.

Chelsea toxic culture

Chelsea released an official statement

In a statement the club said the new board “believes strongly in a workplace environment and corporate culture that empowers its employees and ensures they feel safe, included, valued and trusted. Initial steps have been taken by the new owners to instil an environment consistent with our values”.

It went on to say: “Our heart goes out to Richard’s entire family. His passing has been deeply felt by his colleagues at the club and across the football community.

“The club has appointed an external review team to investigate the allegations that have been made under previous ownership. Upon learning about the circumstances, new ownership has proactively reached out to Richard’s family through their counsel.”

If you or someone you know is struggling head to for practical tips and advice.You can also talk to Samaritans 24/7 if you need to talk. Call 116 123 for free or visit the Samaritans website.

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