Former Chelsea Women and England defender Claire Rafferty is returning to the club next week in a new role within our commercial department.

Rafferty, who spent 11 years with the Blues as a player between 2007 and 2018, retired from professional football at the end of last season and now takes up a role as a partnership sales manager.She previously combined football with a position at Deutsche Bank, as well as completing an economics degree.‘It has always been an ambition to work on the business side of football once I finished my career and I am excited to have this opportunity with the club I know so well,’ Rafferty said.‘Having combined my playing career, the majority of which was spent at Chelsea, with an economics degree and working at an investment bank, I hope to be a valuable asset to the commercial team at Chelsea and am looking forward to getting started.’

Chelsea Commercial Director, Chris Townsend OBE, added: ‘We are delighted to welcome Claire back to the club in an important role. Her extensive experience in elite-level sport, combined with her business and analytical skills accumulated working at an investment bank will make her a vital member of the team as we attract new commercial partners, particularly with a focus on developing the profile of our Women’s team.’In addition to this new partnership role, Rafferty will also continue her media work, which included TV and radio appearances during the recent Women’s World Cup in France.