Former England Manager no right to privacy.

McClaren v News Group Newspapers Ltd. [2012] EWHC 2466 (QB)

The Claimant was the former England football manager who now manages a Dutch football league club, FC Twente. On 18 August 2012, he sought an urgent injunction via telephone to prevent the publication in the following days paper as to an affair he had with a party only referred to as SA.

The Claimant argued that the publication of the story would have a serious impact on his wife and children and cause serious harm to his family life.

The Judge refused to grant an injunction and the story appeared the next day.

The information related to a sexual relationship and it was clear that it was the essence of private life. The Claimant had a reasonable expectation of privacy and his Article 8 rights were engaged.

As to the balancing stage he was a public figure and someone of whom a higher standard of conduct could reasonably be expected.

“It was able to contend that the claimant belongs to the category of those from whom the public could reasonably expect a higher standard of conduct. Even if one allows for the degree of difference there must be between the position of a former manager and that of a serving captain of England’s football team, he is clearly still a prominent public figure who has held positions of responsibility in the national game.”

A strange decision as the Claimant had not been in the public eye for many years and was the manager of a minor Dutch side.

He held no position of responsibility or office in this country so why was his private life of any public concern?

As he was once the England Manager does that mean he gives up his right to a private life for ever. The case expands the definition of what is a public figure and it appears that the kiss and tell story is no longer dead.

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