Former Newcastle United manager Graeme Souness has kicked off a legal battle for libel damages over a story in the Daily Express.
He is suing over a story headed "Souness faces double probe by bungs team" in September, which he says was defamatory. Souness is also demanding aggravated damages from publishers Express Newspapers and journalist Harry Harris.
He claims the story suggested he was being specifically targeted by investigators over alleged wrongdoing and receiving bungs, that there were strong grounds for suspecting his involvement in the transfers of players Jean-Alan Boumsong and David Dunn, and that he might stifle investigation into those transfers. He says he was not contacted before the story was published and says no effort was made to check the facts with him, or give him an opportunity to comment.
Souness says that three days later the Daily Express published a story saying he had complained that his name should not be linked to the investigation. Souness alleges that his letter of complaint had been marked "not for publication", and says the second story was designed to be dismissive of his complaint.
The writ was issued by solicitors Stock Fraser Cukier.