Tottenham Hotspur officially fired Antonio Conte on Sunday and it’s probably safe to guess that their executive director Donna-Maria Cullen played a part in making that final decision too. While she doesn’t hold the same power as chairman Daniel Levy, Cullen has been part of the club’s board for a long time.
It’s well known how a number of Spurs fans have turned their back on the management and are calling them out as the root cause of their failure to win trophies for over a decade.
With the Lilywhites failing to find stability under any manager and looking clueless with long-term plans, supporters have lost their confidence in board members – which includes Cullen as well.
Who is Donna-Maria Cullen?
Donna Cullen is an executive director at Tottenham Hotspur. Before arriving at the North London club, she had worked as a joint-deputy Managing Director of a PR company Good Relations, and a consultant for Chine Communications for 19 years.
After joining Spurs in 2006, she has managed to stay relatively under the radar for the last 17 years, while the likes of Levy and owner Joe Lewis face the majority of the public backlash.
Cullen is mostly tasked to look into the off-the-pitch development at the club and played a role in scripting the plans for the building of the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. She also looks into their PR statements as well as attracting opportunities that can help make the club money.
In fact, Cullen has been so controversy-free in public that the only little bit of spotlight she received was in 2021 when it was reported that the Spurs’ decision to bring her dog to work in the offices of the club was causing a stir among people with allergies.
However, some Tottenham fans have dug her out as a major reason behind their underwhelming trophy drought for over a decade. Cullen has also been criticized for the poor way of handling Conte’s exit and putting out a really short statement on the sacking.
Donna-Maria Cullen v Mauricio Pochettino
Despite links stating that Mauricio Pochettino would be open to returning to Spurs, and many fans wanting to see that happen, it appears that the bosses at the club aren’t so sure about that. Christian Stellini has been appointed as interim manager until the end of the season, with Ryan Mason set to be his assistant coach.
Some fans believe that Cullen might be playing a role in ensuring Pochettino doesn’t return to the club. The two are reported to have shared a bit of a strained relationship because the Argentine gaffer wasn’t pleased with her having a ‘business first’ mentality and meddling with certain affairs.
Pochettino also seems to direct some public annoyance towards how Cullen operates in 2018 when asked to comment on the director stating he was ‘relaxed’ with Spurs’ slow transfer activity that year. He had said: “I’m not relaxed because I’m a coach and you cannot be relaxed. I think you need to be confident and trust in the people we have and the way that we work.”
The Argentine manager had also reportedly had an argument about scheduling the ‘All or Nothing” documentary and allowing cameras to follow around his Spurs squad before his eventual sacking in 2019.
Cullen is mostly focused on getting sponsors for the club or basically making money for them, which she’s done pretty well over the last decade and retained her role on the board too.
But if she’s really interfering with the possibility of Spurs bringing back Pochettino and ready to sacrifice on-field success to get more financial gain, then perhaps more fans will start calling for her to be kicked out of the club alongside Levy and Enic International too.
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