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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Ex-Chelsea chairman gets damages
Former Chelsea chairman Ken Bates
Bates was known as one of football's characters
Ken Bates is to be paid 9,000 in libel damages over newspaper allegations he swore at a businessman.

The former Chelsea chairman accused the Evening Standard - which faces a hefty costs bill - of a "spiteful vendetta".

He denied swearing at a representative of the Harry Ramsden fish and chip chain during a meeting.

In March, Bates stepped down from his post at the west London club after being sidelined following Roman Abramovich's 140m takeover.

The July 2003 item in the newspaper's City Insider diary alleged that negotiations for a franchise had stalled after Bates swore and kept the representative waiting for two hours.

Bates had told the court he did not remember dealing with the representative, Graham Parr, but would "certainly not" have sworn at him.

The former chairman said it was he who had decided against the franchise.

Bates, who lives in Monte Carlo, did not attend London's High Court for the unanimous verdict.

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