Ex-Coca-Cola chief demands £100,000 pay-off from Hearts

Former Coca-Cola global marketer Phil Anderton is seeking a six-figure compensation sum after being sacked by his latest employer, Scottish football club Hearts.

Anderton spent only eight months as chief executive at Heart of Midlothian Football Club, a role he took up after a spell out of work following his resignation from the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), where he was chief executive.

He is believed to be seeking at least &£112,000 from Hearts for terminating his contract, and is expected to turn to the courts for recompense, should talks end.

Anderton’s dismissal by the Lithuanian-dominated board of Hearts followed a series of disagreements on how the club was being run.

Anderton was drafted in to raise sales of season tickets at the club, after successfully increasing sales at the SRU, which he joined in 2000 as its first marketing and commercial director. He became chief executive in 2004, following a restructure of the marketing department (MW March 18).

Anderton held several roles at Coca-Cola, including marketing manager for central Europe, and spent two years at Coke’s Atlanta headquarters in a global role.

He was also responsible for targeting Diet Coke at 16- to 24-year-olds in the mid-1990s – a strategy that saw the brand becoming a Wimbledon sponsor – and was part of the team behind the “Diet Coke Break” ads.

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