Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has launched legal proceedings over what he calls “false and defamatory statements” in a book published last year called “Putin’s People”.
Among the claims in the book is that Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 on the personal orders of Russia president Vladimir Putin.
Abramovich denies that claim and his lawyers say allegations that he has acted corruptly are false and totally unacceptable.
The Chelsea owner has filed a defamation suit against both publishers Harper Collins and author Catherine Belton.
An Abramovich statement read: “Today my legal representatives have issued legal proceedings in England in relation to a book that was published in the UK. The book contains a number of false and defamatory statements about me, including about my purchase, and the activities, of Chelsea Football Club.
“Today’s action was not taken lightly. It has never been my ambition to gain a public profile and I have always been reluctant to provide commentary on any matters, including any false or misleading statements about me or Chelsea Football Club.
“However, it has become clear that the false allegations in this book are having a damaging effect, not only on my personal reputation, but also in respect of the activities of Chelsea Football Club.
“My objective has been to avoid a legal case and my legal team has engaged with the publishers to try to find an amicable resolution. We have provided them with detailed information addressing the various false allegations about me in the book, including the repetition of allegations that have already been held to be false in the English High Court during previous legal proceedings. Unfortunately, these engagements were not successful, and the publisher has not corrected the false statements in the book.