Catalina Kim, the founder and chief executive of leading sports agency C&P Sports, is one of the most influential women in football.
The 38-year-old has recently been in the headlines after she was allegedly subject to sexual harassment and “inappropriate texts” from Chelsea Football Club commercial director Damian Willoughby.
But GiveMeSport Women does not want Kim’s impressive career to be overshadowed by such reprehensible acts from her male peers, so we’ll instead be celebrating her brilliant achievements.
The only female Asian football agent in Europe
Kim was born in Seoul in South Korea, before moving to Italy to study. She then began a career in the fashion industry in Milan.
Next up was a job as a consultant for the South Korean Embassy in London, where she made a number of contacts in business and beyond.
After leaving the Embassy, Kim was approached by a previous business contact to help broker a deal with Manchester City Football Club.
This led the way to Kim becoming the only female Asian football agent in Europe.
She set up her own sports agency, C&P Sports, which currently employs 28 people in London, Frankfurt and Seoul.
C&P Sports has brokered multi-million pound deals between Asian brands and European football clubs, and advises on commercial viability across the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga.
Which clubs have worked with C&P Sports?
She claimed the deal will become the longest-running partnership between a Korean corporation and Premier League side.
It's been crazy 2021/22 ⚽️🥂— catalina.n.kim (@catalinakim123) June 21, 2022
2022/23? 👀 pic.twitter.com/GIzdsBVcLs
Overcoming sexism and racism
Kim has been forced to endure sexist abuse throughout her career, with the latest incident rearing its ugly head just this week.
The agent had been speaking to Chelsea’s President of Business, Tom Glick, on behalf of a number of overseas investors.
Talks stalled when Willoughby, who began his role as Chelsea’s commercial director on September 5th, was added to the conversation.
According to The Telegraph, Kim told Glick she had previously received “inappropriate messages from Willoughby”, even providing evidence for her claims.
Willoughby has now been dismissed from Chelsea for his behaviour, just two weeks after starting his new role.
Today, a pleasant catch up with the owner of FILA 😊 pic.twitter.com/Ob6n5QZc9p— catalina.n.kim (@catalinakim123) June 16, 2022
In her interview with We Are the City, Kim discussed previous experiences of sexism and revealed how she dealt with past incidents.
“The European football world has never really worked with women or Asians until very recently,” she said.
“So when I do experience sexism and racism in the market, I am willing to allow time for my peers to become familiar with me and learn how to work with non-white European males.
“I wish this understanding and acceptance progressed faster, but the fact is it is progressing.
“When in Italy I was openly insulted due to my ethnicity and gender… I was treated like a second-class citizen due to my gender and race, even by my female boss.
“This is why I left Italy in search of a more tolerant society. I find Britain so much more tolerant, and the world of football is hopefully catching up with that level of respect.”