Jury rules agent’s email to Chelsea’s Granovskaia over Zouma commission was not threatening

April 30 – A football agent accused of sending a threatening email to a senior director at Chelsea demanding a six-figure commission over the transfer of French defender Kurt Zouma has been found not guilty.

Saif Alrubie was on trial over a threatening email sent to Chelsea’s former director of football Marina Granovskaia, one of football’s most powerful women, in May 2022 allegedly demanding £300,000 commission for the transfer of Zouma a year earlier.

Alrubie is said to have believed he was owed a percentage of the fee and wanted payment from Granovskaia.

In an email to Granovskaia, Rubie is said to have written: “I’m sure you’ve heard the story about your other friend Kia when he owed me money for a year and how he ended up paying it. Wouldn’t want you to be in the same situation just because you have a personal issue with me.”

Jurors were told that was a reference to an incident involving fellow agent Kia Joorabchian, who was allegedly accosted in a restaurant and was faced with demands for money at his office in 2008.

Alrubie, 45, insisted he had intended nothing but the threat of legal action and was cleared in court of sending an electronic communication with intent to cause distress or anxiety.

“I’m relieved, my life has been hell for the last two years so I’m glad this chapter is over,” he told Sky.

Granovskaia had earlier told court she felt “threatened” by Zouma’s agent.

Describing her fears on receiving the email, Granovskaia replied: “It made me feel very nervous, it made me worry and it made me feel threatened.”

“Very uncomfortable would be an understatement. I felt physically threatened because of the language being used.”

But Alrubie told Sky: “It’s been horrible to have been accused of something you didn’t do and for it to have got this far. Anything in relation to what was going on is now in the hands of my lawyers going forward.”

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