The UK Salisbury Journal falsely reported William Harrison-Allan, the former chairman of the Salisbury City Football Club, was “bankrupt a few times,” the Press Gazette reported.
Harrison-Allan won an apology and legal costs from the newspaper.
The claim was made in an interview with a former player for Harrison-Allan’s former club. The Salisbury Journal published the former player Robbie Matthews’ quotes about Harrison-Allan, including the “bankrupt a few times” remark — all without fact checking before publication.
The publisher of the Salisbury Journal, Newquest Media, said in a statement in court, according to the Press Gazette:
“We, the publisher, fully accept that the claim that Mr Harrison-Allan has been bankrupt is untrue. He has never been made bankrupt.
“It was an oversight that the claim was not checked and we apology sincerely to Mr Harrison-Allan for the embarrassment and distress cased by our mistake.
“We also accept that the claimant invested large sums in Salisbury City FC and lost a good deal of it. In that financial context, Mr Harrison-Allan did not get away ‘scot-free’ and we would like to set the record straight in that regard.”
iMediaEthics is writing to the Salisbury Journal for comment.