SPORTS legends and celebrity icons including Cristiano Ronaldo, Tyson Fury and Molly-Mae Hague have been dragged into a legal battle involving one of their favourite Italian restaurants.
They are among high-profile names that appear in court papers lodged at the High Court by dining hotspot Cibo in a bid to stop a rival trading under its name.
Other stars mentioned include Will.I.Am, Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Liverpool stars Mohammed Salah, Alison Becker and Darwin Nunez.
They are all regulars at Cibo Hale and Cibo Wilmslow which raked in £4.25million last year.
The luxury restaurants have featured in ITV2’s Real Housewives of Cheshire and was where Solskjaer and Manchester United’s then chief Ed Woodward met to thrash out a permanent managerial deal over a £10.50 spaghetti bolognese.
But furious bosses are locked in a bitter feud with three other nearby restaurants who they accuse of using its name without consent.
They are suing Cibo Manchester, Cibo Liverpool Road, and Cibo Great Northern, along with four of its directors, over claims they have been trading off its celebrity credentials and reputation.
In a highly unusual move the bosses of Cibo named some of their celebrity clients in court papers submitted to the High Court and obtained by the Sun on Sunday.
They read: “The Claimants’ exceptional level of service, stylish décor and reputation has helped to attract high profile and celebrity customers to their restaurant.
“The Claimants’ customers include a range of high profile individuals and celebrities from across the UK, many of whom are known worldwide.”
But they claim their reputation is being damaged by the use of their name at eateries just 11 miles away.
Baffled customers have also left bad reviews including one which read: “Not as good as the Cibo in Wilmslow.”
It went on: “We expected the same good food but unfortunately not.
“My starter came out very quickly but was somehow cold. In the future we will use the Wilmslow restaurant or try somewhere else in Manchester.”
One Tripadvisor review stated: “Waitress was miserable. Food was basic. One toilet working…nothing like Cibo in Wilmslow…. Disappointing.”
Another fumed: “I love CIBO in Wilmslow and hoped for the same…. The lasagne was a poor standard. It had barely any meat in it at all… the fries were undercooked and hard. Not somewhere I would look to go back to.”
Other customers tried to present discount vouchers – including Groupons and Meerkat Meals – to pay for their meals.
The court papers continue: “The Claimants have suffered and continue to suffer loss and damage.
“The goodwill, and the associated reputation, of the Claimants is likely to be damaged by wrongly being associated with provision of the Defendants’ services.
“The defendants have made misrepresentations to the public that are calculated to lead, have led, and/or likely to lead to the public being deceived.”
They even claim that their rivals pinched their signs and changed their interior to look similar in “a deliberate campaign” to confuse customers.
Cibo is seeking damages and an injunction to stop the other restaurants from using the name.