The Blogger, the Defamation Case and the Hefty Legal Bill

There is a fine and risky line walked by football bloggers in exposing the more erratic behaviours of the owners of certain football clubs. Whilst the national press glory in the circus that is the Premier League, unpaid and unsung bloggers dig lower down the pyramid into the financial morass that the English Leagues have become. Discovering, as the pages of this site have ┬ádemonstrated, some bizarre behaviours, financial and otherwise. Back in February and March this year I described one such case. Pompey blogger Micah Hall received a letter before action from solicitors Mishcon de Reya on behalf of their clients the Najadi family and Capital Finance Holding Group (Suiss) SA. It alleged a series of defamatory statements had been made against their clients in a blog written about the investors behind the failed Keith Harris bid for Portsmouth Football Club. Pascal Najadi was one of Harris’ named backers, along with the vet Alan Hitchins. The blog had already been removed from the website owned by Fansnetwork and was one of three on the Harris consortium. (The other two, on Hitchins and Harris, remain live.) Despite this, Mishcon were persuing the blogger for apologies, costs and damages. Given the seemingly convoluted rationale for the alleged defamation it was difficult to see this particular action as anything other than a classic SLAPP (┬áStrategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) Suit, designed...

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