Chelsea have sacked recently appointed commercial director Damian Willoughby for “inappropriate messages” he sent before joining the club.
PA news agency understands 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 property tycoon Nick Candy to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich before American Todd Boehly’s consortium finalized a takeover in May.
Willoughby was appointed commercial director earlier this month, returning to the club he previously worked at 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 Mr Willoughby, prior to his appointment to Chelsea FC earlier this month, has recently been provided and investigated by the club.
“Although they were sent before his employment at the club, such behavior is absolutely against the working environment and corporate culture established by the new owner of the club.
“The club owners work tirelessly to set and achieve the highest standards on and off the pitch, and are committed to establishing and nurturing a culture of transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, diversity and opportunity. .
“The club is committed to creating an environment that embodies these values.”
Willoughby has also worked for Manchester City and EA Sports.