'One of UK's prettiest pub's' forced to close after ex-NFL star landlord falls out with land trust over inn's decor | The Sun

"ONE of UK's prettiest pub's" has allegedly been forced to close after an ex-NFL star landlord fell out with the land trust over the inn's decor.

The American footballer locked horns with the wealthy land owners of the Carington Arms boozer in Leicestershire.

Lorne Sam, who once played for the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos, swapped the NFL for the charming county life as a pub landlord.

But the Carrington Arms, dubbed one of the country's best-looking spots, became the battleground after he clashed with the owners.

The 39-year-old claimed he was forced to shut down after the family who owns the pub's land disagreed with the interior decor.

The trouble started when Alex Stroud, 54, scion of historic local lords of the manor, and his wife wanted changes made to the pub.



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According to Mr Sam's lawyers, the changes weren't part of the deal.

Mr Sam's lawyer Philip Noble said that he was visited by Mr Stroud and his wife Lucy after his client took over the 19th-century inn.

Mr Noble said: "The Strouds informed him of how the decor of the pub should be improved to their taste and how the catering could be improved to cater for their friends following shooting parties.

"They asked Lorne Sam to carry out other improvements to the decor and finish in the property, despite no such improvements being necessary or required under the lease.

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"They made it plain that they relied on the pub to host post-shooting parties, and asked Lorne Sam to organise the kitchen to cater for those demands."

The public feud then escalated when Mr Sam claimed he was treated unfairly because of his race.

His lawyer claimed that his Black American background was at the heart of the dispute.

However, Mr Stroud strongly denied it and branded the accusation "ludicrous".

Emails between Mr. Sam and Mr. Stroud posted on Facebook revealed Mr. Stroud feeling upset about any hint of discrimination.

He said: "Lucy and I were delighted from day one and we have welcomed you with open arms.

"Any suggestions of you being treated differently because of the colour of your skin or your nationality is deeply offensive, massively upsetting and ludicrous."

Trustees of the Ashby Folville Land Trust now want Mr. Sam's company, Carington Hospitality Ltd, out.

They claimed the NFL star owes a whopping £13,000 in rent.

Russell Davies, representing the trust, said they were just trying to get back the money owed and denied he was treated differently.

He said "reasonable and proportionate" attempts to recover unpaid rent had been made.

Mr Davies added that the Strouds regularly visited the Carington Arms as they lived nearby.

And they were trying to help the pub by fixing the interior of the boozer and it was denied "that they sought to direct" Mr Sam's company.

He claimed Mr Stroud organised and paid for recarpeting, installation of new pipework and a radiator at the pub "despite being under no obligation to do so".

They were "keen to encourage the success of the business, including the introduction of custom".

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But they claimed Mr Sam's company had not kept to an agreed repayment schedule.

The dispute is expected to go to a full trial next year.

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