Panorama sparks litigator frenzy

The BBC came under fire last week after those featured in its Panorama football exposé instructed the country’s leading media litigators.

The documentary featured secretly filmed footage of agents discussing illegal payments over player transfers. In-house lawyer Roger Law will lead the BBC’s defence.

Sam Allardyce, manager of Bolton Wanderers FC, has instructed Mark Stephens of Finers Stephens Innocent and his son instructed Graham Atkins of Atkins Solicitors, as revealed on www.the (22 September), after comments were made alleging he took money for transfers.

olton has independently instructed a Brabners Chaffe Street team led by joint senior partner Maurice Watkins and Edward Canty .

Kevin Bond, the Newcastle United FC first team coach, has instructed David Price Solicitors and Advocates following his appearance in the documentary.

David Price said he would sue the BBC for libel. “The short extract from my client’s conversation with the reporter was taken out of context and presented in a completely misleading manner. It was all smoke and mirrors,” he insisted.

Bond was assistant to Portsmouth FC manager Harry Redknapp when the show was filmed, and he too made an appearance and alerted defamation boutique Schillings.

Liverpool FC has consulted partner Richard Green at Hill Dickinson after football agent Peter Harrison was filmed offering Middlesbrough FC’s England youth player Nathan Porritt to the club.

Harrison, represented by Charles Russell, has also said he will sue.