Bond drops “bungs” libel action against BBC

Kevin Bond has dropped his libel action against BBC’s Panorama programme, just days before it was due to be heard in court.

Three years ago, the programme, “Football’s Dirty Secrets”, showed secretly filmed sequences of Bond, when Harry Redknapp’s assistant manager at Portsmouth, apparently prepared to consider an unsanctioned payment, or “bung”, over a player transfer.

Bond was finally due to bring his case in the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday, but it appears he has had opted not to pursue the case after the BBC revealed that it was prepared to enter into evidence 50 hours of unbroadcast sequences in which three high-profile managers are named on camera.

A statement from the BBC said: “Mr Bond has discontinued his libel claims against the BBC. We have not apologised, we have not paid damages and we have not paid any of his legal fees.

“We stand fully behind the journalism and were prepared to take it to trial. Mr Bond was the only person to bring a claim in relation to the programme.”

When the programme was aired, Bond was assistant manager at Newcastle, who sacked him following the revelations, which he has always strenuously denied.

In one sequence, Bond is recorded saying, “I totally understand where you’re coming from. I understand what you’re looking for, and certainly myself and Harry would be open to listening to, you know, in order to come to some arrangement, if you like, where whatever we need, we’ll make sure that we call you, and what you really want is that we call you and only you.”

Bond is now working as Redknapp’s assistant at Tottenham.

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