An agent involved in the transfer of Kurt Zouma from Chelsea to West Ham has denied sending a threatening email to a former Chelsea director regarding payment of commission, as relays the Belfast Telegraph.
Saif Alrubie was reportedly in a contractual dispute with Marina Granovskaia over the sale of the 28-year-old French defender, who signed for the east London club for around £29m in August 2021. Prosecutors allege that Alrubie sent a threatening email to Ms Granovskaia on May 22, 2021. Alrubie appeared in court wearing a blue blazer over a T-shirt, dark trousers, and blue espadrilles. He confirmed his name and pleaded not guilty to a single charge under the Malicious Communications Act, which involves sending an electronic communication with intent to cause distress or anxiety. Alrubie, who resides in Dubai, stood in the dock during the hearing.
According to the charge, Saif Alrubie allegedly sent a threatening email to Marina Granovskaia, which conveyed a message that was intended to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient or others. The case concerns a contractual dispute between Alrubie and Ms Granovskaia over the transfer and commission owed for Kurt Zouma’s move from Chelsea to West Ham. Alrubie’s trial is scheduled to take place over seven days beginning on April 22 next year.
During a recent hearing, Judge Nicholas Rimmer extended Alrubie’s bail and imposed several conditions, including that he not contact the complainant, notify the Crown Prosecution Service and police before leaving the UK, and report his new address to the authorities no later than 12 hours after returning to the country. Ms Granovskaia, a skilled negotiator, left Chelsea last year after almost 20 years at Stamford Bridge, following the £4.25bn sale of the club to US billionaire Todd Boehly’s sports franchise.
Zouma, who was involved in the transfer in question, recently returned to the West Ham team after undergoing surgery for a knee issue. In June of last year, he received a sentence of 180 hours of community service and a five-year ban on keeping cats after admitting to kicking and slapping his pet cat.