Venables issues libel writ against The Sun

It is reported this morning, ahead of England’s first match back at the new Wembley Stadium, that Terry Venables, Steve McClaren’s assistant coach and News of the World columnist, is suing the country’s biggest selling daily newspaper, The Sun, for libel damages.

Venables claims a story headed “The Brady punch” and “El Tel is a wrong choice, Macca” was defamatory. Although he complained four days after the story appeared last October, 2006, The Sun – sister title to the News of the World – has failed to make any satisfactory proposals to deal with his complaint.

Venables is the former England player and Crystal Palace, Barcelona, Tottenham and England manager whose career has frequently been marked by business controversy.

According to the High Court writ, the newspaper article said he continues to lead a charmed life while working for the FA by getting away with “instances of bribery, lying, deception, the manipulation of accounts and taking money that should have been given to creditors”.

Venables says the story gravely damaged his character and reputation, and caused him considerable distress and embarrassment.

He is also seeking aggravated damages, complaining of the “offensive, gratuitous and spiteful tone and content” of the attack on him.

Lee and Venables back sporting MySpace launch