Chelsea have sacked recently appointed commercial director Damian Willoughby for “inappropriate messages” he sent before joining the club.
PA news agency understands that the messages were sent to Catalina Kim, a football agent who is the founder and chief executive of C&P Sports Group.
C&P was involved in a bid by British mogul Nick Candy to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich before American Todd Boehly’s consortium completed a takeover in May.
Willoughby was named commercial director earlier this month, returning to the club he previously worked for from 2007 to 2010.
A Chelsea spokesperson said: “Chelsea Football Club confirms that it has terminated the employment of commercial director Damian Willoughby with immediate effect.
“Evidence of inappropriate messages sent by Willoughby, prior to his appointment at Chelsea FC earlier this month, was recently provided and investigated by the club.
“Although they were sent before their employment at the club, such behavior is absolutely contrary to the work environment and corporate culture being established by the new club owners.
“The club’s owners are working tirelessly to set and achieve the highest standards on and off the field, and are determined to establish and nurture a culture of transparency, accountability, inclusion, diversity and opportunity.
“The club is committed to creating an environment that embodies these values.”
Willoughby also previously worked at Manchester City and EA Sports.