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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow - Hutchinson Leaves Post As SAFC Commercial Director

Sunderland AFC have today confirmed that Gary Hutchinson is to leave his position as Commercial Director in early January as part of new CEO Martin Bain's shake-up behind the scenes.

In a press release from the club it was confirmed today that Gary Hutchinson will leave his post as Commercial Director at the football club in early January.

It reads:

Sunderland AFC’s commercial director Gary Hutchinson is to leave the club to take up a new role.

Hutchinson, who has worked at the club for 17 years, with the last five as a member of the board of directors, is set to depart in the New Year.

Speaking about his decision, Hutchinson said: “I have been offered an exciting opportunity to embark on the next stage of my career, which I am really looking forward to. Of course I am saddened to leave behind some wonderful colleagues, friends and clients, but I will take so many positive memories and incredible experiences with me.

“I would like to sincerely thank Ellis Short, Martin Bain and Angela Lowes for their support and friendship during my time at the club and everyone I have worked alongside during my 17 eventful years. I have been a Sunderland supporter all my life and I will continue to follow the club with tremendous pride. I wish David and the team, along with everyone associated with Sunderland, the very best of luck for the remainder of the season and beyond”.

Sunderland AFC’s chief executive, Martin Bain, said: “On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank Gary for his hard work and dedication during his time at Sunderland. He leaves with our sincere good wishes and we hope he enjoys success in his new role.”

Tomorrow's game against Watford will be his last home game, spelling the end of a career which began in 1999 when Hutchinson started out as part of the conference, banqueting and events team at the Stadium of Light.

He then moved on into the position of Head of Venue & Events in 2003, a role which he held until December 2011 when he was named as a Commercial Director at the club.

He was infamously caught up in some tabloid controversy last year when he was named in a civil case between Sunderland and former marketing director Michael Farnan, who brought a claim of wrongful dismissal and loss of earnings after he was sacked for alleged ‘gross misconduct’ in May, 2013.

Farnan alleged:

On a fairy regular basis, Liz Coley, the club’s secretary, would join us in the board room and Mr Hutchinson would frequently say to her ‘how are the puppies today?’, referring to her breasts.

This type of juvenile behaviour was routine for Mr Hutchinson and he made comments of this nature in front of senior employees of the club, including Miss Byrne (Margaret Byrne, chief executive).

As far as I am aware, no action was ever taken against him. I query why Mr Hutchinson is still an employee of the club.

Hutchinson, a product of Hylton Red House Comprehensive in Sunderland, was widely credited with some of the success of the series of stadium concerts the club have hosted in the past nine years.

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