Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich is seeking compensation of £150,000 from the publishers of the Daily Mirror.
Abramovich is suing over a story in The Mirror headed: ‘Roman: You are the one for me, Fatih’which he claims was defamatory.
The story claimed he had acted in an underhand way by authorising a secret approach behind manager Avram Grant’s back to sound out Turkey coach Fatih Terim, according to a High Court writ.
The story also alleged that he had drawn up a list of other potential successors to replace Grant while he was still the Chelsea manager, despite chief executive Peter Kenyon publicly insisting that he was continuing to support Grant, the writ claims.
Abramovich says the story has caused substantial damage to his reputation, and caused him considerable distress and embarrassment.
He is also seeking aggravated damages, saying The Mirror had made no attempt to check the allegations with him, press officers, or Chelsea, or warn him before publication.
If it had done so, the paper could have discovered that the allegations were completely untrue, but instead the paper chose to publish these sensational and damaging allegations on the front sports page, the writ claims.
Abramovich accuses The Mirror of failing to apologise to him, or take proper steps to mitigate the damage, and of failing to respond fully to his complaints. He is also suing over the website version of the story, which was not taken down until April 28.
Abramovich fears that The Mirror will repeat its allegations about him unless restrained by the court, and is seeking an injunction as well as damages.