Ex-Rogers CEO Laurence joins Chelsea
Guy Laurence, the former chief executive of Rogers Communications, the powerful Canadian telecommunications group, was today named as the new chief executive of English soccer giants Chelsea.
Laurence will officially take the reins next month. Reporting directly to the board of directors, he will take overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the club, including the continuing development of commercial activities globally.
Laurence left Rogers in late 2016 after less than three years in the post, after clashing with the family of late founder Ted Rogers. Prior to Rogers he led Vodafone’s telecoms business in the UK, and was also a director of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the Toronto-based owner of NHL ice hockey’s Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA basketball’s Toronto Raptors and Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: "[Laurence] will be working with the owner and the board to increase our commercial revenues and maximise digital opportunities, identifying new ways to best serve our supporters here in the UK and further grow our international fan base."
Meanwhile, Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has defended the city council's £280-million ($378.3-million) loan to Everton to help the Premier League club build a new stadium at Bramley Moore dock.
Anderson, an Everton fan, said the arrangement fits in with an existing 'invest-to-earn' strategy and will make money for the region over the next 25 years.
The stadium project will now cost £500 million, and it was originally thought that the city council would simply act as guarantor for a private loan, rather than borrow the money itself.
Responding to critics, Anderson said: "I’m a mayor first and an Everton supporter second. To people who ask why Everton FC should benefit from the city council at a time when Liverpool faces austerity, I would point out we are trying to raise money to protect services.
"The development site we call Liverpool Waters, from the Pier Head to the docks at Seaforth, was planned to take 30 years and a $5-billion investment. We think this is a way of accelerating the regeneration of the region, bringing in jobs, investment and new housing. First it will be a deal that benefits Liverpool, and second it will be a deal that benefits Everton FC."