Liverpool and Australian soccer player Harry Kewell’s London High Court libel action against former England captain Gary Lineker and the Sunday Telegraph has ended in a nil-all draw after the jury failed to reach a verdict.
Following a second day of unsuccessful deliberations, the jury has now been discharged and Kewell must decide whether to press on with a fresh trial over his claims of defamation.
“It looks like a replay,” Lineker quipped after the high profile case fell into the judicial too hard basket. “I can’t say anything else because I don’t know what is going to happen.”
Kewell has so far kept silent on holiday in Portugal and is still recovering from recent surgery, but in my view it will only be throwing good money after bad if he continues his legal battle over Lineker’s attack in a Sunday Telegraph column about his controversial 2003 transfer from Leeds to Liverpool.
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In their defence, both Lineker and his paper claimed that the real target of the offending article was not Kewell, but the overall transfer system that upset Lineker after learning that Kewell’s manager Bernie Mandic had received a $4.5 million pay day as a result of the deal ultimately struck between the two clubs.
I always believed Kewell was badly advised to proceed with this action, and now it’s time for him to cut his losses and concentrate on trying to get off Liverpool’s bench. But whether he still has a future at Anfield is open to question, with most fans now hostile to his recent history of chronic injury and what they see as a very poor return from one of the highest paid players in the Premier League.