Dundee to bury SoS hatchet

Crisis-hit Dundee FC’s new director has agreed to withdraw defamatory statements about Scotland on Sunday sports reporter Martin Hannan made on the club’s website.

Giovanni di Stefano revealed he commissioned a private investigation into Hannan’s public and personal life, and made a number of serious allegations against him in a press release which appeared on the website.

The football club has debts of £20m and is now in administration. Hannan wrote a series of articles on di Stefano in which he revealed he was a convicted fraudster who was jailed for five years in 1986 for serious offences after a trial at the Old Bailey.

In an astonishing twist, di Stefano gave Hannan an exclusive interview at the weekend in which he stated: “You can accuse me of anything you want and maybe 90 per cent of it is true.”

Hannan said: “With Dundee FC’s owners, the Marr brothers, and di Stefano having fallen out so spectacularly, the events at Dundee over the past few days have, sadly for the club’s fans, vindicated Scotland on Sunday’s decision to investigate the club and warn of the true situation.”

The NUJ issued a statement backing Hannan. It said: “We condemn any attempt by any person or company to inhibit investigative journalism, especially if such attempts are accompanied by personal attacks which appear designed to put pressure on the journalist.”

Hannan said: “I have been overwhelmed by the support of colleagues and friends across the media.”

By Hamish Mackay

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