HarperCollins apologizes to Roman Abramovich, and will make 1,700 modifications to the book that claimed Vladimir Putin ordered him buy Chelsea FC. Publisher will donate an undisclosed amount to charity following settlement of defamation case

  • HarperCollins has agreed to more than 1,700 changes to Putin’s People. 
  • Catherine Belton’s book includes claims that Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea for £150million in 2003 on the personal orders of the Russian president
  • Author quotes exiled oligarch Sergei Pugachev  as the source of the claims 
  • Abramovich claimed that the accusations were false and harmful to himself and the club
  • HarperCollins now agrees to donate an undisclosed amount to charity

HarperCollins has apologised for Roman Abramovich, and settled out-of-court after Abramovich sued HarperCollins over claims that he had been ordered by Vladimir Putin to purchase Chelsea Football Club.

Publishing giant, Penguin Group has agreed to donate an undisclosed amount to a charity. It will also make no less than 1,700 changes to Catherine Belton’s book Putin’s People. 

Belton’s book includes claims that in the early 2000s that Abramovich bought Chelsea for £150million in 2003 on the personal orders of the Russian president. 

A Financial Times exiled journalist Sergei Pugachev was quoted in the publication. He had been once called ‘Putin’s Banker’. But Abramovich claimed that the claims against Chelsea FC were false and harmful to both him and the club. 

Several references to Chelsea are now being deleted. This makes it obvious that Pugachev made the allegation and there is not any hard evidence supporting the claim.

Abramovich had claimed in a previous case that his book included nine defamatory statements. A judge agreed. 

Now, the 2020 publication will be reprinted. The ebook will also be updated. 

HarperCollins have apologised to Roman Abramovich and settled out of court after he took legal action

HarperCollins apologised and reached an agreement with Roman Abramovich after he filed legal action

The publishing giant has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to a charity and make no fewer than 1,700 amendments to author Catherine Belton's (pictured) book Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and then Turned on the West

The publisher giant will pay an undisclosed amount to a charity, and no fewer that 1,700 modifications to Catherine Belton (pictured) book Putin’s People: What the KGB Took Back Russia and the West.

There were a few statements that claimed that the Chelsea purchase was ‘an entrance to the House of Lords’. Others suggested that the West didn’t know that Abramovich may have been acting under Kremlin orders when he bought Chelsea. 

Catherine Belton's book Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and then Turned on the West

Catherine Belton’s book Putin’s People – How the KGB Took back Russia and Then Turned On the West

The reprint will include a statement by Pugachev, although it will be clear that his statements and testimony in a prior case are discredited.

HarperCollins said in a statement: “Since the first edition was published, HarperCollins have been informed that there were some incorrect facts about Roman Abramovich. 

HarperCollins amended the book in order to accurately record the event and add comments from Mr Abramovich’s spokesperson. 

HarperCollins especially has changed the text regarding the motivations for Mr Abramovich purchasing Chelsea Football Club. 

The book never denied that Mr Abramovich had been acting under anyone’s orders when he bought Chelsea. However, this new edition will provide a better explanation about Mr Abramovich’s motives for purchasing the club. 

“HarperCollins also stated in their book that they have no other evidence than the statements made by the individual to support the claims of Sergei Pugachev, and two unnamed persons, about Chelsea Football Club’s purchase. 

The author and HarperCollins apologised for not being able to understand certain aspects of the book and were happy to clarify the text.