MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 11:24:38| >> :120:7345:7345:

Roman Abramovich launches legal proceedings over Putin's People book

Roman Abramovich launches legal proceedings over Putin's People book
© Reuters
Roman Abramovich has filed a defamation suit against both publishers HarperCollins and author Catherine Belton.

Roman Abramovich has launched legal proceedings against “false or misleading statements” in the book Putin’s People he believes are damaging both his reputation and Chelsea’s.

The Stamford Bridge club owner has filed a defamation suit against both publishers HarperCollins and author Catherine Belton.

Belton’s book Putin’s People includes claims from Sergei Pugachev that Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 on the personal orders of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.

Chelsea Football Club Handout Photos
Roman Abramovich, right, in Jerusalem with Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes (Shahar Azran/Chelsea Football Club)

After months of unproductive discussions with HarperCollins the 54-year-old billionaire Abramovich has taken the rare step of fighting that and a number of other claims in court.

In a statement released to the PA news agency, Abramovich explained the harm he considers allegations in Belton’s book have caused him, both personally and in his role as Chelsea chief.

“Today my legal representatives have issued legal proceedings in England in relation to a book that was published in the UK,” said Abramovich.

“The book contains a number of false and defamatory statements about me, including about my purchase, and the activities, of Chelsea Football Club.

“Today’s action was not taken lightly. It has never been my ambition to gain a public profile and I have always been reluctant to provide commentary on any matters, including any false or misleading statements about me or Chelsea Football Club.

“However, it has become clear that the false allegations in this book are having a damaging effect, not only on my personal reputation, but also in respect of the activities of Chelsea Football Club.”

Russian Billionaire Pugachev claimed in the High Court in 2018 that Putin had ordered Abramovich to purchase Chelsea.

Pugachev’s witness statements were branded “self-serving” and “impossible to believe” by Mrs Justice Rose, in his dispute with JSC Mezhdunarodniy Promyshlenniy Bank.

Pugachev went on to lose the High Court case, but his allegations about Abramovich and Chelsea were repeated in interviews for the 2020 book Putin’s People.

“My objective has been to avoid a legal case and my legal team has engaged with the publishers to try to find an amicable resolution,” continued Abramovich’s statement.

“We have provided them with detailed information addressing the various false allegations about me in the book, including the repetition of allegations that have already been held to be false in the English High Court during previous legal proceedings.

“Unfortunately, these engagements were not successful, and the publisher has not corrected the false statements in the book.

“On the subject of Chelsea Football Club, in contrast to the portrayal in the book, my ambition with Chelsea Football Club has always been to create world-class teams on the pitch and to ensure the club plays a positive role in all of its communities.

“I believe our successes and activities over the years speak for themselves, including the trophies won, expansion of the Chelsea Academy, development of the Women’s team and the Chelsea Foundation becoming the largest charitable organisation within the Premier League.

“It is my hope that today’s action will not only refute the false allegations in regard to my own name, but also serve as a reminder of Chelsea’s positive footprint in the UK.

“I have every belief that the courts will give me a fair hearing, as they have in the past.”

Soccer – Barclays Premier League – Chelsea v Southampton – Stamford Bridge
Roman Abramovich has owned Chelsea since 2003 (Jed Leicester/PA)

Abramovich has also objected to further claims in Belton’s book, from late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

Abramovich won a major court case against Berezovsky in 2012, with claims dismissed that the Chelsea owner had intimidated his former business associate into selling shares in oil company Sibneft.

Berezovsky had been described by the court as an “inherently unreliable” witness.

Lawyers Harbottle and Lewis explained the action has been brought due to “false and defamatory claims” that Abramovich had been involved in corruption, as well as the allegations around the motivation for purchasing Chelsea.

“We have today issued legal proceedings for defamation on behalf of our client Roman Abramovich,” reads a Harbottle and Lewis statement.

“The legal proceedings relate to a number of false and defamatory claims made about our client in the book ‘Putin’s People’ published by HarperCollins.

“The book falsely alleges that our client has acted corruptly, and makes false claims about our client’s purchase, and the activities, of Chelsea Football Club. “Such claims are totally unacceptable and are without foundation.

“In view of the legal proceedings issued we will not be making a further statement at this time.”

ID:440311:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect9255:

Click here for more stories about Roman Abramovich

Click here for more stories about Chelsea

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
Great BritainGreat Britain56415
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!