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Marvin Sordell's agent wins defamation damages from former Watford owner

Richard Heathcote

Watford's former owner, Laurance Bassini, has been made to pay by Marvin Sordell's agent, Sky Andrew, following quotes ruled defamatory leveled by Bassini against Andrew. It all started as part of Marvin Sordell's sale to Bolton Wanderers when then-owner of Watford, Bassini, claimed that Sordell's agent would only advise Marvin to sign a new deal with the Hornets if Andrew was paid accordingly. According to the Watford Observer, Bassini said about a year ago (just a few weeks after the sale of Sordell):

"[Andrew] came to see us and said the only way Marvin would sign a contract is if he [the agent] received a substantial sum of money and that was never going to happen.

"Marvin has done nothing wrong in this whatsoever but his agent wanted a fee to facilitate a new contract and he told me he would do what he did with Sol Campbell and let his contract run down, so that was that."

The public statement was seen by Andrew as an allegation that he would put his own interests above the clients and, as a result, took Bassini to court over it. The claims, in essence, suggested that Sordell's agent had looked for a bribe which was not only against UK law and is a criminal offense but is also against the FA's Code of Professional Conduct.

As a result of court proceedings, Bassini, who sold Watford to the Pozzo family (also owners of Udinese and Granada), will pay damages to Mr. Andrew as well as his legal costs and will issue a public apology.

A statement from Bassini's advocate following the ruling read:

"It was never Mr Bassini's intention to convey the allegations of which complaint is made or to say anything derogatory about the claimant. He does not dispute and never intended to suggest that Mr Andrew put his own interests before those of his client. He apologises to Mr Andrew sincerely and unreservedly for any contrary and unintended impression that was given."

While Mr. Andrew, Marvin Sordell's agent, said:

"This is a very pleasing result and I am delighted that this action has been brought to a successful conclusion. Football agents often get a bad name and I have worked hard to ensure that all my dealings are ethical and professional. These false allegations could have seriously damaged my reputation."