Wednesday 24 April 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer considering legal action against Paddy Power

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (John Walton/PA)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (John Walton/PA)

James Ducker

Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is considering legal action against Paddy Power after warning the bookmaker it faces "big problems" for apparently using a photograph of him in an advertisement without his consent.

The bookmaker used an image of Solskjaer alongside a Brexit-inspired jibe at Theresa May, to promote bets on the Norwegian getting the United job permanently.

The advertisement, which appeared in Thursday's edition of the London Evening Standard newspaper, featured an image of Solskjaer clapping alongside a message that read, 'Theresa, time to try the Norwegian model', while advertising odds of 1/16 on him becoming Jose Mourinho's permanent successor.

Solskjaer was shown the advertisement during an interview with Scandinavian news outlet NRK on Friday morning and, although he initially appeared amused, his mood quickly soured. Solskjaer told NRK he would refer the matter to his lawyers.

"They will have big problems with me," Solskjaer said of Paddy Power, which has a reputation for publicity stunts. "It is a betting company. I should not have anything to do with it. I promise you I will send this to my lawyer."

Solskjaer's lawyer, Erik Flagan, said they would be treating the matter very seriously.

"This is illegal," Flagan said. "The use of personal images in a commercial context without the consent of the depicted is illegal both in Norway and England.

"In this type of case, it is common to first prohibit and demand compensation. This is done routinely on behalf of Solskjaer in all such cases."

Solskjaer, whose side face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium today, has won 14 of his 17 games in temporary charge and is firmly expected to land the United job permanently.

Solskjaer's side sensationally overturned a 2-0 home loss in the Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain by triumphing 3-1 at the death in Paris in midweek to progress to the quarter-finals.

United head to the Emirates Stadium on a club-record winning streak on the road. PSG was their ninth successive away win in all competitions - a run that includes January's 3-1 FA Cup fourth-round triumph at Arsenal. Paul Pogba is available after serving a European ban in Paris, while fellow midfielders Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera are pushing for a return from injury.

Anthony Martial is available after a groin injury, giving Solskjaer a welcome selection headache having been without 10 players in midweek. Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia remain absent.

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