Fans rally to help fund court costs

Micah Hall who was taken to court over a website blog''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132204-6)
Micah Hall who was taken to court over a website blog''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132204-6)
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POMPEY fans are rallying round Mike Hall, a blogger facing a massive legal bill after an abortive attempt to sue him for defamation.

As previously reported in The News Mike wrote a series of articles online aimed at members of a consortium bidding to own Pompey.

One of those posts was aimed at Pascal Najadi, a Malaysian banker and his father Hussain, who both attempted to force the removal of the post and an apology from Mike.

But Mike stood by his post, and the Najadi family took him to court.

Since then, the court case has been abandoned by the Najadi family, and now Mike fears being left with a £15,000 to £20,000 bill for all the legal costs.

But Pompey fans have stepped up, raising £1,000 in less than 24 hours.

They have been donating through Pompey’s 12th Man scheme, which channels donations into the community-run football club.

Mike, who is now Pompey’s engagement manager, said: ‘I am absolutely delighted about what’s happened and so touched that people think I’m worthy of their support.

‘I have not heard anything further from Mr Najadi and now it’s a question of getting a third lawyer, at a cost of thousands, to assess the level of costs so far incurred.

‘I had an original fighting fund, but that went on the first solicitor I had before engaging my barrister.

‘It’s all been an absolutely response from fans.’

As Mr Najadi brought the defamation claim against Mike in the first place, and the case was dropped by his legal team, it falls to him to cover all the costs.

If he does, the money raised by fans to support Mike will go straight to the football club.

Mike said: ‘It would be great if the money could be used to go towards some sort of specific project or something for the club, but that will be for Pompey’s 12th Man to decide.

‘I am incredibly grateful. It’s at times like this you really do remember that we are a family of fans. We might argue between ourselves every now and again but when there’s a threat we respond.’

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