Former Chelsea employee Richard Bignell, who was the head of the club’s television channel, took his own life this January and the coroner’s report found that he was “deeply troubled by anxiety, depression and despair following the loss of his job.”
Bignell had been sacked a day after returning from medical leave last year as a cultural review of his department was being conducted by an outside firm. The review was being led by an unnamed executive who was actually seen as the core of all the problems having an extremely aggressive management style.
Ten other employees also resigned during this period and many of them cited concerns about the club’s executives. One employee even left fearing for his mental health and even wrote a letter to Bruce Buck about it.
Todd Boehly is said to be shocked by the bullying culture that has become a part of the club’s hierarchy and has vowed to launch a full investigation and has already appointed an external investigation team.
“The physical and mental health and wellbeing of all of our people is paramount,” Boehly wrote in a letter addressing the concerns. “Our mission is to create a workplace environment that empowers everyone to be safe, included, valued, and trusted. We will work tirelessly to set and achieve the highest standards.”
Chelsea even released a statement regarding Richard Bignell’s death saying: “The club’s 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.
“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.”