Saif Rubie – Super agent found not guilty of threatening former Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia

Saif Rubie – Super agent found not guilty of threatening former Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia

A football agent accused of sending a threatening email to a former Chelsea director demanding payment over the £29 million transfer of Kurt Zouma to West Ham has been cleared.

Saif Alrubie, 45, who claimed to have played a part in facilitating the transfer of the French defender in August 2021, is said to have believed he was owed a percentage of the transfer amount and demanded payment from Marina Granovskaia, 49.

But a jury at Southwark Crown Court found the agent not guilty of sending an electronic communication with intent to cause distress or anxiety after Mr Alrubie said he ‘never intended anything but’ the threat of legal action. Prosecutors had accused Mr Alrubie, of Fulham, west London, of sending a ‘threatening’ email to Ms Granovskaia on May 22, 2022.

Mr Alrubie told the court Ms Granovskaia was the ‘right hand’ of Chelsea’s former owner, Roman Abramovich. Giving evidence at his trial, Mr Alrubie said threatening someone with the “might” of the Russian businessman behind them would be a ‘suicide mission’.

Prosecutors said the agent implied Ms Granovskaia might ‘suffer the fate’ of another agent, Kia Joorabchian, who claims he was accosted and intimidated by men demanding payment on behalf of Mr Alrubie. He was asked about his reference to Mr Joorabchian in the email.

He told jurors that Ms Granovskaia, the then director of football at the club, ‘clearly lied to hide the true facts and nature of the transfer fee’.

He said his position is ‘a million percent’ that there was nothing in his email that could amount to a threat. “There was no threat,” Mr Alrubie said. “No threat made, no threat perceived, apart from the potential consequences of legal action.”

He added that he ‘never intended anything but’ the threat of legal action. Separately the court heard that Rubie is launching a civil case against Granovskaia.

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