High profile Manchester United players such as Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand have both attempted gagging orders to protect themselves from adverse press but one new star in the making Tom Cleverley has make the press pay.
The press love the kiss and tell stories and professional footballers are big news when a girl is involved. True or not the press will go for the jugular as Sunderland's Titas Bramble has found recently.
Cleverley has accepted undisclosed libel damages from News Group Newspapers following claims in The Sun that he “badgered” a girl for sex. The paper has also agreed to print an apology but mud sticks and clearly the press should be held accountable for the accuracy of stories printed whatever the source?
The Sun printed a story in August, falsely accused the 22-year-old of meeting a girl in a nightclub in Blackpool and “bombarding” her with text messages offering her sex. It was also wrongly claimed that he had taken her to a bed and breakfast hotel.
The Sun printed the story without checking the facts Cleverley and it later transpired that the person involved was impersonating the footballer, who was at home with his girlfriend at the time of the incident.
Cleverley’s legal team commented that the player was “extremely upset and embarrassed.”
"Most seriously, the article then alleged that he repeatedly badgered her for sex despite her saying no," said David Price QC.
It seems incredable that reputed journalists did not even check the facts before going to press. Not all Footballers are whiter than white but they do deserve to be innocent until proven guilty.