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More revelations about Liverpool! lies over contractual matters as secret contract is leaked

By Tony Attwood

A little while back I wrote a piece about the contractual details involving the transfer of Bale to Real Mad from Tottenham.  

The information provided suggested that there were some very very dodgy dealings involved in this transfer, which, if the European Commission does its job, could come back to slap both clubs in the face quite hard.  It also offers the first ever suggestion as to how it is that Tottenham always seem to spend so little in the transfer market and yet year after year end up in the top six.  Indeed if you looked at the occasional table we have produced, they have often been the only club to make a profit over transfers.

Now we know the issues involve the banks lending money to Real Mad which under the deal of the Spanish bail out they are not allowed to do – and that information came from a relatively new but much welcome source of information: Football Leaks.

However they have also given us some more interesting snippets in revealing that Suarez’ deal from Liverpool! to Barcelona was not all it might have seemed.  Although certainly not the “Luis Suarez to Barcelona confirmed as most expensive transfer in 2014 with big money deal set to cost almost £200m” deal that the Daily Mail suggested in December 2014, but still something different from what we were first told.

In July 2014 most papers gave the transfer figure as £75m, but the documents posted on the Football Leaks website show that it was over £10m less than this, and that it would be paid over five equal installments.  The last one has not been paid yet.

The revelation leaves several questions, including the most important one: “why?”  Why pretend that the deal was for more than it actually was?  After all the actual amount was bound to come out eventually, through tax returns if nothing else.

We know that the owner of Liverpool! by his own admission, lied to Arsenal when he said there was no £40m buy out clause in the Suarez contract, and Untold was one of the very few places that covered this story at the time.  The Liverpool! owner not only lied at the time but then went on to make a speech at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference boasting about his lying.

So was the suggestion that they had got £10 million more than they did get just another lie?  That is possible because although everyone tells lies at some time or other, we’ve all surely observed some people who not only lie constantly, but boast about it.  These people have the medical condition known as pseudologia fantastica or pathological lying, and Mr Henry seems to have this – something that makes him singularly unsuited to be the top man in a football club.  But of course that is not our problem.

The condition has been described in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law as “falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime.”   You probably caught the article; it is certainly essential reading for anyone trying to unravel what goes on in football and football journalism.

So Mr Henry probably just does this sort of thing constantly, and we should perhaps not look for a deeper reason.  If that is the case then we should also be very cautious indeed about any statements emanating from Liverpool! – and my rather silly insistence on putting the exclamation mark after the word Liverpool! (!) each time, maybe isn’t so silly, in that it serves to remind us that anything said about the club may be made up.

Thus Liverpool! got £10m less than they said.   But I just wondered if there was any connection between the differentiation in the amount revealed here, and the fact that as I’ve also reported before a Dutch MEP tabled a question in the European parliament on why banks in Spain seemingly got involved in the financing of the Bale transfer – another transfer where the whole issue of who is paying how much to whom and for what is also on the table.

Several very serious people whose work I tend to treat with more respect than most have raised questions here.  For example Derk Jan Eppink, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research wrote this in September 2013

“On the first of September 2013 the Spanish football team Real Madrid made public its acquisition of Gareth Bale, for a record price of 100 million Euros. Real Madrid has a debt of close to 600 million, financed in large parts by Caja de Madrid, a regional bank which is now part of Bankia. Bankia, a bank recently saved through the ESM for no less than 18 billion Euros, now backs this purchase by Real Madrid as well. Certainly these European funds cannot be used as a backstop for these unsustainable practices.

“Is the Commission aware of this situation and if so, how is it going to respond to European taxpayer’s money being used in such deals?”

Even the Telegraph – not normally a paper to cast any doubts over the wonderfulness of the rise of Tottenham to the dizzy heights recently was moved to say recently, “It would seem that Eppink was right all along. The financial institutions of a country that had been bailed out by the EU just one year earlier was guaranteeing the stupendous fee required by an indebted club to sign one of the world’s best footballers.”

While in these murky waters there is also the fact that Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Neymar, all have something in common other than the fact that they play for Barcelona.  They, like Mr Henry of Liverpool! believe that truth means nothing.  But in their case it is the question of the truth they can manipulate when talking to the taxation authorities.

But what does link the Liverpool! contract with its revelation that the club lied about the cost of the deal, and the Tottenham / Real Mad contract over Bale is that the Bale contract is actually revealed to have a clause in it (clause 15 if you have a copy) in which both clubs agree to mislead everyone over how much the deal cost.

Which itself is not a crime unless done with the intention of avoiding taxation – although it would be nice if Uefa made it a crime.

Meanwhile Messi and his dad go to court on the small matter of €4.1 million tax fraud on May 31.  Barcelona, who were banned from transfers for a year, have stated that there has been an “accumulation of totally inadmissible and external decisions that have been going on for some time, and that have nothing to with strictly sporting affairs”.   Which is probably only a rough translation.

But maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised, for giving out misleading information is surely what football is largely about.  For example in the papers today we see, “England 1 Holland 2: Roy Hodgson brought back to earth by Dutch double”.  When Arsenal were beaten by Watford in the FA Cup it was a total fiasco, disaster and evidence of the need to get rid of the manager.

Looking at the England performance we see the headline “John Stones fluffs England audition for Euro 2016.”   If it were Arsenal it would be a typical Wenger transfer cock up.

So where does this leave us?  Well, I saw a headline the other day which read, “Expectations have risen, but reality has stayed the same.”   I suspect what should follow that is…

These days football is lies covered in spin.


Bits and pieces from the home page

Today in history 

30 March 1853:  Birthday of Vincent van Gough who sold just one of his pictures during his lifetime.   

And the Insult of the Day – 

A wretched puling fool, a whining mammet (Romeo and Juliet)

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22 comments to More revelations about Liverpool! lies over contractual matters as secret contract is leaked

  • swiller

    You seem to have failed to read the whole document as barca paid the sell on fee in Suarez contract to Ajax of £8.5 million and the tax on the sale

  • colario

    It is not just football that ‘lies are ‘covered in spin’.

    By ‘spin’ I think you mean: Lies turned round or presented as ‘truth’

    I would not be surprised if the aaa and wob are conspicuous by their absence on this article.

    I am going put your article on my facebook page as I have friends who are supporters of truth who support the likes of looserpool and madrid and barsoner.

  • Azinoz

    Off topic but a serious question, I have only ever seen a reference to the AAA on this site alone, so is this a pet name given to disaffected Arsenal supporters by this site or are they an organised group and if so who /are their organisers?

  • Porter

    If there’s money, big business and politics involved you will find lies deceit and corruption. No real surprise there and no shock that it’s swept away under the carpet.

  • Goonermikey

    And who the hell expects banks to act with honesty and integrity…….it is they that got us all into this huge, steaming pile in the first place……………..

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Nigeria is out of Afcon 2017 in Gabon after the Super Eagles were beaten 1-0 in Alexandra yesternight by the Pharaohs of Egypt. What a shame!

    The markmanshipless Super Eagles were just running up and down the field of play without hitting the back of the Pharaohs net. Moses and companions were playing to the gallery instead of hitting the back of the Pharaohs net. Coach Samson Siasia lopsided Super Eagles selected team were never going to qualify as other good and capable Nigerian players will not be given a chance to prove themselves on the field of play for Nigeria.

    I think the NFF President should resign as his administration has seen Nigeria twice in succession failed to qualify for the biggest Africa football tournament. He shouldn’t hid behind any excuses or mask. But take all responsibilities for the Super Eagles failures. Or let the Nigerian government remove/sack him. And Fifa should keep quiet should the Nigerian NFF President and his collegues be sacked. Because he who pays the piper should be allowed to dictates the tones sometimes. If Fifa says no to the Nigerian government sacking, then Fifa should begin sponsoring the NFF financially.

    I am looking forward to watching Arsenal on Saturday on my TV set. And I hope all Gunners who went for the international break qualifiers and friendlies have returned safely and healthly to London Colney today and tomorrow to begin training for beating Watford which MUST come to pass by God’s willing.

    Arsenal should thoroughly do their home work before they do any player transfer to Arsenal next season. So that they are not lied to again in the way and manner Liverpool co owner – Henry lied in the Luis Suarez’s abortive transfer to Arsenal. And amazingly, Brendan Rodgers and his Liverpool owners were not sanctioned by the FA nor by Uefa for their lies to deprived Arsenal singing Suarez had they been punished, it will sever as a deterrent to other would be liers in future. Even the hiring of a scout, Arsenal should thoroughly examined their options before they hire, so as to avoid hiring the wrong scout.

  • Azinoz – it is a name evolved on this site for the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal – the supporters who claim they support Arsenal but endlessly criticise the club. There is more at

  • Swiller. The VAT on purchases and sales of players between clubs is never included when they are quoted – and for a very good reason. The VAT element is claimed back from the state and thus is in effect not paid. This is of course common among all companies within the EU as all the states of the EU have harmonised their VAT procedures across the Union. In this way all transfer fees should be immediately transparent and comparable, but the way in which both the Tottenham / Real Mad deals and the Suarez deal has been set out suggests this is less than the case in these instances.

  • Al

    Off topic, so Demichelis has been found guilty of betting, and I know they say there’s no suggestion he tried to influence matches, but you just wonder how that cannot be the case if he’s hedging a lot of money on the outcome of a match. Curious how City fans will take that news, on the back of some uncharacteristic and shambolic defending they have been seeing in their squad. Might lead some cynics to think maybe all that bad defending just wasn’t due to the loss of Kompany only 🙂

  • Porter

    Bit simplistic just to blame banks. Governments took away the safeguards and it really was speculators that over played their hands. The people that face the public take the brunt from their customers but many in fact most lost out too .

  • Andy Mack

    Al, I don’t know this for certain but I get the impression that Demichelis wasn’t betting on games he was involved in, so he couldn’t directly effect the outcome.

  • Al

    That’s what I thought too but you never know with gamblers. Picture this, he puts a lot of money on team A beating team B, and loses, wouldn’t he be tempted to bet on a match that he can influence to recoup his losses? He might not even do it himself, could ask a friend to place the on his behalf. It may all be a bit far-fetched but the trouble with gamblers is they lose a lot, can’t stop, and sometimes they resort to the ‘unthinkable’.

  • Azinoz

    Thank you for the clarification Tony

  • goonersince72

    “These days football is lies covered in spin”. Any article related to media or media coverage should begin with this sentence, Tony. It should be mandatory. Any subject covered by the media just fill in the blank: ____ is lies covered in spin. At least they’re consistent.

  • jamiestunner

    Two important points:

    Suarez had a sell-on fee from his Ajax days

    The official Barca announcement made no mention of the transfer fee.

    Claiming a club lied because the press incorrectly guessed a transfer fee is just criticism for the sake of it, and a move you often make in order to make the arsenal management look “classy”.
    Now don’t get me wrong, Barca are no angels, and have been involved in a lot of shady dealings, but to attack their club for a 2.5 million difference in transfer fee between the actual values and what the press reported? That’s going too far

  • Jamiestunner – it was Liverpool who put out the statement.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Azinoz – March 30, 2016 at 9:56 am – And in addition to Tony’s answer , some of us would add Arseholes and/ or Asinine to that mix , as our name for ‘them’ . The words are so freely interchangeable – just like their brains ( if they have one !) from their craniums to their cabooses , and vice versa !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And you can spot’ them’ here , as the love to use the DISLIKE buttons as if its going out of style !

    4 of ‘them’ didn’t like you question !
    4 didn’t approve of Goonermikey’s own opinion of banks !
    3 don’t like the idea of colario putting this article on his facebook ! You go Charles !
    2 didn’t like Tony’s reply to you .
    Anyway you get the idea .

    In the good news , SAA , did not get any dislikes . So I gather like me most are happy that Alex Iwobi will not be getting injured at those games !

  • porter

    In many ways it shows a narrow minded approach that a number press the dislike button more on the basis of who posted rather than what is said.

  • porter

    Nearly took 4 hours. Well done.

  • jamiestunner

    On the Suarez issue,

    It’s illegal to speak to a player at another club about his contract.
    Bidding the reported 40million 1 made it clear that we knew about his contract. Liverpool could have easily taken us to court for that.

  • Jamiestunner, I regret to say we are just on different planets about all this. In each case my understanding is utterly different from yours, and we get nowhere. In this case my understanding is that it is against football rules to approach a player directly about moving clubs without going through the club with whom has a contract. No one accused Arsenal of this in the scandal. But also this is a football rule, not a rule of the UK or the EU, and thus all Liverpool could have done had they believed that a direct approach had been made (and they never made this accusation) they would have gone to the football bodies not the courts.

    But as I say we disagree on all these fundamentals, and really I think it is time to stop and just admit we have no viewpoint or analysis or use of evidence in common.