Liverpool paid £1m in a settlement with Manchester City after the club were accused of hacking into their Premier League rival’s scouting network six years ago.
The scandal involved three former Manchester City employees who went on to join Liverpool’s scouting network, including the club’s current sporting director Michael Edwards, head of recruitment Dave Fallows and former European scouting manager Julian Ward.
As explained by The Times, Liverpool are claimed to have accessed Manchester City’s Scout7 database on ‘hundreds of occasions’ before agreeing to a settlement, which was made without the club or the three scouts accepting any liability or wrongdoing.
The settlement was made in September 2013 after City employed computer-espionage experts to investigate, with the whole process having a knock-on effect on the Premier League champion’s transfer business.
It’s been learned that Manchester City fast-tracked a £36m move for Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk, as well as for Sevilla’s Jesús Navas, after the club discovered that there was a possible breach in their scouting system.
Concerns were first raised when City learned that Liverpool had declared an interest in Real Zaragoza youth player Pablo Fernandes, who moved to Etihad Stadium in 2013 and still has a contract with the club until 2021.
The breach of City’s scouting system was reported by a number of different outlets six years ago but it was unknown who hacked into their Scout7, although it was made clear that it came from another club in the Premier League.
This week's edition of the Definitive European Power Rankings feature quotes from Atlanta season one and million and one references to JPEGMAFIA's new album https://t.co/v3viBhTdWI via @90min_Football
— Jack Gallagher (@calciolovesjack) September 20, 2019
Although this alleged breach in City’s scouting network wouldn’t be the first scandal to come out surrounding professional football clubs, the £1m settlement would make it the biggest of its kind – comfortably eclipsing Leeds United’s spygate incident last year saw them hit with a £200,000 fine.