SACKED: The PR man brought in to boost Liverpool's image pays price for string of threats over spoof Twitter account
15:34 GMT, 16 November 2012
Why Chang had to go…
Scroll down to read Charles Sale's verdict on the mess at Liverpool
Liverpool's controversial communications director Jen Chang has left the club following the Twitter storm with spoof blogger 'Duncan Jenkins'.
The club were forced to apologise to Jenkins, real name Sean Cummins, for the 'inappropriate actions' of Chang, after they met in a Manchester restaurant.
Chang was tipped to leave his post earlier this week in Charles Sale's Sports Agenda column.
Axed: Liverpool's communications director Jen Chang has left the club
Meeting: Chang and Cummins pictured on CCTV at the Manchester restaurant
A club statement read: 'Jen Chang has left Liverpool Football Club by mutual consent and has returned to the US for family reasons,” said a Liverpool spokesman.
'Jen brought a fresh perspective to the overall communications function through the use of a variety of media channels, including social media and blogs.
'He reviewed and refocused the Liverpool Ladies and created a new impetus in relation to their structure, organisation and future playing strategy.
'We would like to thank Jen for his contribution to Liverpool Football Club during his time here and wish him well in his future career back in the US.
'Jen would like to thank everyone he has worked with during his time at Liverpool for their support and respect and wishes the club every success.'
Chang wrongly believed inside information used by Cummins on Twitter had been fed to him by an Anfield mole.
Exclusive: Sportsmail revealed Chang's return was in doubt earlier this week
Cummins pointed out that all his information was lifted from fans' forums.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2225347/Liverpool-apologise-Sean-Cummins-Duncan-Jenkins-threats-Jen-Chang.html#ixzz2COjG1nRd
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The fan then alleged in a blog that Chang made a series of threats to him, which included revoking his shared season ticket.
After accusing Cummins of costing the
club 300,000 extra in the Fabio Borini transfer from Roma this summer
because of 'information' posted on the Jenkins Twitter feed, Cummins pointed out that all his information was lifted from fans' forums.
It is then alleged that Chang demanded he tweet under the fake account to 'confess' there was no mole and the whole account was made up.
After Cummins complained, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre spoke to both men before apologising for Chang’s error.
In his letter to Cummins he wrote: ‘I acknowledge some of the elements you highlight were not appropriate. I would therefore like to apologise to you on behalf of Liverpool FC, for any upset and distress this caused you.’
'Clearly it is not appropriate for me to comment on how the club is managing this internally, and I trust you understand this.'
Chang has been in New York sorting out
the family home after Hurricane Sandy.
Why Chang had to go, by Charles Sale
Jen Chang’s departure from Liverpool was inevitable ever since the communications director’s highly ill-advised harassment of fan Sean Cummins was made public.
The only surprise is that it has taken so long for his exit to be announced, especially after an investigation into the incident by managing director Ian Ayre led to the club writing a letter of apology to Cummins for the inappropriate actions of the club official.
The club statement today mentions Chang leaving by mutual consent and returning to the United States for family reasons.
But earlier in the week Chang was said to have gone to New York only to sort out the family home after the power loss caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Liverpool, whose PR has been a mess ever since the Luis Suarez racism saga was handled so badly inside Anfield, now cannot afford to appoint another communications chief as patently unsuited for the post as Chang.
And the fact that Chang was yet to relocate his wife and children from America to Merseyside suggests he had his doubts about his long-term future at Anfield as well.
The signs that Chang would never be the right fit for Liverpool were evident before he joined the club.
The ex-journalist’s last article for Sports Illustrated before starting his spin doctor responsibilities at Anfield was a glowing tribute to the way Everton manager David Moyes utilises performance data.