bet365 ordered to pay Man Utd star Christian Eriksen huge compensation fee
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Online gambling company bet365 has been ordered to pay compensation to Manchester United midfielder Christian Eriksen and other Danish sports stars after a court ruling in Denmark.
The owner of bet365, Malta-based Hillside Plc, must pay compensation to 23 Danish athletes, including Eriksen, for using their names and photos on social media without consent, Denmark's maritime and commercial court ruled on Monday.
Reuters has reported Hillside Plc has been ordered to pay 4.7 million Danish Krone (£548,860) to the athletes.
In addition to Eriksen, AC Milan defender Simon Kjaer and Nice goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel are set to receive compensation, as is badminton player and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen.
Eriksen's image was used the most frequently by bet365 according to the plaintiffs. As a result, the United midfielder has been awarded the largest sum of all the athletes, amounting to 1.45 million Danish Krone (£169,327).
bet365 had argued that its use of names and images should be regarded as editorial content and not subject to payments.
However, the court found instead that the use of the images amounted to marketing that required consent, ruling in favour of the athletes.
It is positive news for Eriksen, 31, who has enjoyed a successful debut season at United after joining the club on a free transfer last summer.
The Denmark international has scored two goals in 39 games for the club, despite missing around three months through injury.
On Monday, Eriksen won the Laureus World Comeback of the Year award in recognition of his remarkable return to football after suffering a cardiac arrest while on duty for Denmark at Euro 2020.
"I think it's been an incredible last one-and-a-half-year now with a lot of ups and downs," said Eriksen. "Obviously, the biggest downs came at that point and that changed my life for the worse.
"But luckily the doctors and the people, the paramedics and people around and my team-mates at the time, they reacted quickly and got me back. And at the same time, I was lucky that nothing serious happened. Like, an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) was the worst.
"For me, what I've learned from this is more that you forget the people around you. I also see [my partner] Sabrina gets emotional from being around when it happens.
"It must have been the same for people and family who were around when it happened, and it really is a focus for them because, I mean, I felt like myself when I came back and I've been myself since.
"I think I have more or less the same [routine]. I think I've started to enjoy my life and my kids, my family a bit more than what I did before, I am a bit more relaxed with everything.
"I am not as nervous as I was before, and I didn't feel like I was nervous before. But it just changes your dynamic. Life is very good. Life is very important. Life is very important."
bet365 declined to comment when contacted by SPORTbible.