The owner of Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich has taken the author of “Putin’s People” Catherine Belton and the publisher of the book, HarperCollins, to court due to the claims the book made against him and Chelsea.
In the book, the author pointed out Roman Abramovich as one of the people of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. The book also alleged that the Russian businessman bought Chelsea football club in 2003 on the order of the Russian president.
According to legal representatives of Roman Abramovich, the book claimed that the businessman acted corruptly and described the allegation the book made against Abramovich as false and unacceptable.
In the same vein, the Russian businessman issued a statement on Monday to announce that he has started legal proceedings against the author of the book and the publisher for what he described as “false or misleading statements”.
Roman Abramovich stressed that the claims of the author are damaging his reputation and that of his club, Chelsea football club. Hence, he went ahead to mention some of the positive things the club has done since he bought it in 2003, some of which have been in the area of charitable endeavors and nurturing of young football talents.
A statement from the Russian businessman read: “Today, (Monday, March 22), my legal representatives have issued legal proceedings in England about a book that was published in the UK. The book contains several 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.
“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. 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 organization 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.”
After the statement from Chelsea’s owner, the Premier League club issued a statement to confirm that the club is aware that Roman Abramovich has launched a legal battle against the author of Putin’s People.
The club went on to stress how successful the club has been under the ownership of the Russian businessman, especially in the area of winning major titles and expanding the club’s football academy.
The club’s statement read: “Chelsea Football Club is aware of today’s legal action by club owner Roman Abramovich and will not be providing any comment on the matter.
“The club and its staff are proud of its many achievements under Mr. Abramovich’s stewardship, including the 16 major trophies won on the pitch by the Men’s team, the eight won by the Women’s team, the major successes achieved by the club’s Academy, the establishment of world-class training facilities at Cobham, and the significant work the club and the Chelsea Foundation are doing in the community, including our continued work to fight all forms of discrimination.”