Sam Allardyce to Receive Damages for False Claim

By J.J. Zucal
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce. Photo from danae47/flickr

Sam Allardyce will receive “substantial” damages as the result of a court settlement that will close a defamation case against the manager who followed him at Blackburn Rovers.

Allardyce, now manager at West Ham United, reportedly will receive an estimated £200,000 ($320,000) after claims were made by his successor at Rovers, Steve Kean, that Allardyce was fired for being a crook. The comments, which were made in 2011 during a preseason tour of the Far East, were recorded on a camera phone and posted on YouTube. Those comments became widely reported in the British media, even though Allardyce was fired as Rovers’ manager immediately after the club was purchased by the Indian company Venky’s in 2010.

On its website, the club last week issued an apology to Allardyce, noting Kean’s comments were filmed: “Whilst in Hong Kong, Mr. Kean was in a bar and falsely alleged that Sam Allardyce, our previous manager, was sacked by us because he was a crook.

“This is completely false and we apologize to Mr. Allardyce for the embarrassment and distress caused to him by Mr. Kean.”

Kean resigned as Blackburn Rovers’ manager on Sept. 28, 2012 amid concerns of pressure from ownership after the club was relegated from the Premier League to the Championship in May.

During a court hearing Wednesday to finalize the settlement, Allardyce’s attorney, Hanna Basha, said Kean accepted his statement was false, had withdrawn it and agreed to pay financial damages. Basha noted the club’s website apology was part of an earlier settlement with the club and stated the club was not a party to Wednesday’s proceedings. Kean apologized through his attorney.

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