Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 14:41 UK

Website pays damages to O'Neill

Martin O' Neill
Martin O'Neill has accepted an unqualified apology and damages

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has accepted substantial libel damages from the owners of a website.

Lawyers for 365 Media Group apologised and will pay the costs of action at the High Court in London.

Mr Paul Hackney, for O'Neill, said a May 2008 story about his client's dealings with Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was highly defamatory.

The article had damaged his reputation, and caused him serious embarrassment and distress, said Mr Hackney.

The court was told the article came 16 days after 365 Media Group had apologised for another libellous piece concerning the Villa manager's dealings in the transfer market.

"It appeared to the claimant there was a campaign by some of the employees of the defendant to try to undermine the claimant's reputation," said Mr Hackney.

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