A football business advisor involved in bringing Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez to the Premier League is suing the Daily Mail and columnist Martin Samuel for unlimited libel damages.
Kia Joorabchian took issue with a February article questioning why football club chairmen have continued to employ him despite his alleged role in bringing Tevez and fellow Argentinian midfielder Javier Mascherano to West Ham United from Brazilian club Corinthians.
Commenting on Tevez’s “illegal” 2006 move, Samuel highlighted the “advisory role” in a deal that “ended up costing £23m in fines and compensation alone”.
Joorabchian has complained that the column, published on 25 February, insinuated he had “so badly advised West Ham in relation to the loan signing of Carlos Tevez that it cost the club £23m in fines and compensation and so no sensible Premier League club should use his services again”.
According to a claim form seen by Press Gazette, Samuel, who is known to be a West Ham supporter, made no attempt to contact the agent prior to publication.
Joorabchian also claimed that when he had written a letter of complaint the day after publication the paper only responded to “interrogate” him. He said no apology or other redress was offered.
He is now seeking payment for the “substantial damage to his reputation” and the “considerable distress and embarrassment”, and an injunction to block further allegations being made.
Earlier this year, before this article was written, Joorabchian criticised Samuel on TalkSport for another Daily Mail column in which he commented on football club Queens Park Rangers.
During the discussion with broadcaster Richard Keys, who resigned from Sky Sports after a sexism row, Joorabchian said he was “quite friendly with Martin”.
The Daily Mail said it was unable to comment on the case at the time of publication.