Terrorized employees, humiliations, reprimands: Chelsea at the heart of a shock investigation

Shaken by the forced departure of Roman Abramovich, the London club is going through a complicated period. Because an investigation reveals an atmosphere of terror in certain sectors of the club. Explanations.

One of the most heard expressions in the world of football is often: “in football, everything goes very quickly”. Well Chelsea experienced that recently. European and world champion (of clubs) in 2021, the London club is experiencing a very eventful first half of 2022. Following the war in Ukraine triggered by Russia, the British government obliged Roman Abramovich, emblematic owner of the Blues since 2003. A period of chaos during which the entire club was paralyzed pending the arrival of new buyers.

The finances were frozen by the government, which caused great uncertainty. The Blues could not advance in their transfer window and the players even had to put their hands in their pockets to finance trips to the league. In the end, the American Todd Boehly bought the Blues and calm returned. Ostensibly. the New York Times has indeed just published a survey targeting a subject very rarely mentioned in the media: the atmosphere within the clubs. Well with the Blues, it’s not really joy. Even worse than that. Especially in the marketing department. The head of the department would terrorize his employees.

Gary Twelvetree, a tyrannical leader?

Reprimands, humiliation in front of colleagues, long sick leave (several months), the list of reproaches is long against the head of the department, Gary Twelvetree. In total, nearly ten employees of this service (which has about 50) have left the club. Employees at their worst then shocked last January by the suicide of the head of Chelsea TV, Richard Bignell. A character who seemed to be very popular. The club would however have denied any link between his disastrous gesture and his working conditions. Nevertheless, Mr. Bignell’s autopsy report consulted by the Times bind this suicide “to the despair that arose following the loss of his job”. What hurt a little more certain employees who ensure that this general anxiety was visible on Bignell. the NYT specifies in any case that it is this tragic disappearance which would have brought to light the serious internal operating problems within the club.

Faced with this problem, the new management of the Blues indicated that the new board of directors has engaged a team external to the club in order to investigate these allegations made by many employees. “The club’s new board strongly believes in a working environment and corporate culture that empowers its employees and ensures that they feel safe, included, valued and trusted.”, can we read in the press release from Chelsea sent to the media. Chelsea will therefore have to act quickly, because the latest testimonies published in the columns of the American newspaper are chilling. A “Toxic work culture under Twelvetree that has left many staff members feeling belittled, intimidated and sometimes even scared to even attend meetings. » Terrible…

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