Hacker offers documents in Man City case suggesting criminal activitiy



By Tony Attwood

Football is of course a world that lives on rumours.   In the summer the media is generally full of little other than international tournaments and transfer rumours – the latter being stories that 97% of the time do not come true.   Although yesterday we did find one that was true.  See “Wrexham sign Arsenal goalkeeper  and give a perfect example of ethical behaviour.”

In contrast there is the Manchester City case and it seems some new information is now coming to light.

Until now, because in the background, we have all known that Rui Pinto  is still out there and sitting on a huge amount of data.   He was the creator of “Football Leaks” who was arrested in 2019 for illegally accessing information and was eventually charged with almost 150 offences in Portugal.

He was found guilty of nine hacking-related offences and got a prison sentence suspended for four years.   Now I am not a lawyer (I think I have said that before) but my understanding is that Rui Pinto is now free to release the information he has without any further recriminations.   

And it has always been a rumour that among the tens of thousands of documents Rui Pinto got, were a whole load that related to Mancheseter City and in particular their alleged breach of the Financial Fair Play rules.

Of course the fact that this story is running in the Sun and the Mail makes one ponder and wonder a bit more about its accuracy, but the fact is that as part of his plea for leniency in his trial Pinto handed over a lot of incriminating evidence relating to the dealings of some very big clubs including Manchester City.  And indeed it was because of this feature of his case that Rui Pinto was put onto a witness protection programme. 

At the heart of the information are items concerning the level and sources of revenue of the club, breaches of  Uefa and Premier League regulations concerning profitability and sustainability and alleged non-co-operation with Premier League investigations.

So it has long been suggested that Pinto kept hold of most of the documents that he had gained through his hacking activities.  And at the heart of the issue this time is the fact that Manchester City have been accused of concealing payments by routing them through third parties and showing straight donations as sponsorship payments.

The Mail reports that Pinto told the OffShore-Alert Marbella Conference via video link: ‘The Man City releases showed amounts of money being paid into by the club that were not mentioned to the football authorities.”

Now it is often reported that The Court of Arbitratin for Sport has investigated Manchester City and the club was cleared of “disguising equity funds as sponsorship contributions”. However that is not quite the full story since the CAS threw out the Uefa case because it was “out of time” – which is to say the case was not brought to court and presented within the two year time limit. 

It has been rumoured (although nothing more than rumoured) that Uefa deliberately slowed down the case knowing this would lead to it being thrown out.   Of course that remains a rumour but it is a fact that no explanation has been offered as to why Uefa with all its resources took so long to bring the case to CAS. If it wasn’t a deliberate ploy by Uefa it was the most extraordinary incompetence on their part.  For certainly if Manchester City were not co-operating over the handover of evidence Uefa could have presented that to CAS and got CAS to instruct Manchester City to hand over all documents on pain of being found guilty of all charges if they didn’t.

Man City’s 115 charges have recently been summarised by the Mail as

  • 54x Failure to provide accurate financial information 2009-10 to 2017-18.
  • 14x Failure to provide accurate details for player and manager payments from 2009-10 to 2017-18.
  • 5x Failure to comply with UEFA’s rules including Financial Fair Play (FFP) 2013-14 to 2017-18.
  • 7x Breaching Premier League’s PSR rules 2015-16 to 2017-18
  • 35x Failure to co-operate with Premier League investigations December 2018 – Feb 2023.

Of course the formal line from Manchester City is that there is no evidence of substance and they are innocent on all charges.  We shall see.  Eventually.

10 Replies to “Hacker offers documents in Man City case suggesting criminal activitiy”

  1. I wonder if the Premier league has the cojones to act when and if the case against City is finally resolved. It would be good if they were ejected from the league if found guilty, however the threat of an alternative league being formed may prevent that. I suspect that a deal will be fudged that allows City to remain and that all past offences will be set aside on promise of no further transgressions. Not a very promising outcome but one I suspect that will be soon forgotten once the hysteria dies down. Depressingly money talks and in City’s case shouts very loudly!

  2. They have to be careful “not to be lenient” with Man Citys charges, because all premier teams will be watching as they will be setting a precedence for all future charges against corruption.

    In other words, if Man Citys 115 charges is not severely dealt with with severe punishment, then the likes of Everton will be taking the FA government bodies to court for unfair proportionate punishment, and they will successfully sue for millions in compensation.

    Plus if they are lenient with Man City it will allow future corruption to be permitted with little consequences. All eyes are watching as a precedence will be set for all future corruption charges to any team that follows conviction.

    Man city owned by billionaires cannot be punished by monetary fines as this will have little effect on billionaires.
    They cannot take away the prestige of winning the titles because they have already gained profit in advertising, marketing attracting world recognition for future merchandise sales etc. etc. the clubs gain has already proceeded for future revenue.
    The only true punishment is the humiliation of being dropped two leagues down and a ban from the transfer market for two years and a Europian ban for 5 years.

    This would keep the survival of the club going but also send a strong message to the premier clubs and world football that corruption will not be tolerated in England. Above all a fair proportionate precedence will be set for all future corruption charges.

  3. I think Alan Gee what you don’t quite understand is that the events in football are not just one news item after another. The situation with regarding Man City is complex, not least in terms of what the other clubs will do if Man C is found not guilty. The Man C issue is not like a teransfer rumour that pops up and goes away, it is fundamental to football’s future in England, and hence needs some consideration rather than a knee jerk reaction. And besies lots of other people do knee jerk reactions, so we leave that to them.

  4. Dave’s.Actually think you are being too lenient!.
    The sentence should be more like what was dished out to Glasgow Rangers AND Juventus.
    Demotion to league 1,Automatic European ban.Min 3 seasons,Tranfer embargo until they regain Prem status.
    Now that would send out a message.Lets see how many players void their contracts with that scenario.
    Of course in an ideal world they would be kicked out of our league( they want a super league anyway)
    Maybe,they’ll resign try & set up their ‘ super league’.Wouldnt put it past them.

  5. Alan Gee

    “Wow even your news comes in 2nd place. This was yesterday’s news”

    Do you even realise how absurd and ironic that statement is?

    Wow, (I just thought I’d join you in the sarcastic shock horror angle) of all the places to accuse of reporting ‘yesterdays news’ you accuse Untold!!

    Untold Arsenal, and Tony in particular, have been all over his subject for years, whilst the British media point blank refused to cover it in any way shape or form. The in depth research and analysis that has been done by this blog, whether you agree with all of it or not, is actually quite remarkable

    Perhaps a little research of your own would of told you that.

  6. So if the evidence is real wouldn`t that mean the fa could be prosecuted for receipt of stolen goods?

  7. I can’t see how. If you buy a ring and it turns out later to have been stolen you would not be prosecuted unless it could be shown that you knew or should have suspected the ring was stolen.

  8. @Positive Pete,

    why in the world would Arsenal not sue them for lost income : each year they did not make european football because City115 were in front of them for example. And the past 2 years were they would have won the League.
    Multiply that by each club of each season who can claim prejudices….

    Find a reason to litigate in the US, and there you find lawyers who will work on % of damages awarded and City will spend their time over there in procedures….

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