Hi guys, I just read all the Football Leaks articles on Spiegel so far and made a bit of a summary, since I am sure most of you don't want to read everything (the summary is still long, but way shorter than the articles, believe me).
So for who is not informed, German newspaper and investigators Spiegel, together with lots of other newspapers did investigate and research the (second part of the) documents they received from Football Leaks, a portuguese hackergroup. This is 3,4TB of data which means about 70 million documents. They published the first articles, but there are many more to come in the next few weeks. More coming also on the topics doping, betting fraud and racism.
In 2013 former French President Nicolas Sarkozy tried to raise money with the help of ManCity president Khaldoon Al Mubarak. A year later when ManCity was investigated by UEFA for FFP violation, Al Mubarak asked Sarkozy for help, who spoke with FIFA president Infantino. In the last 7 years Abu Dhabi has injected €2.7 billion
into ManCity. In 2016 Infantino chose to directly negotiate an agreement with ManCity, and therefore bypassing the investigating chamber of UEFA. Between 2009 and 2011 ManCity has made a loss of €451M. ManCity threatened to take legal action against UEFA, if they would make them pay a penalty. 2014 the president of the investigating company of the UEFA recommended to exclude ManCity from the Championsleague. Infantino intervened and negotiated with City manager (and ex Barça VP) Ferran Soriano. Infantino actually told Soriano that he should make a proposal for the fine they would have to pay, so that it looks like FFP is still intact. In the end they settled on a $60m fine, which then Al Mubarak refused to pay. Infantino intervened again to make the fine drop to 20m, which UEFA investigating chamber initially refused to agree to. PSG was angry that ManCity's fine would be lowered, so the UEFA president promised PSG that their fine would also go down to 20m, while lying to Abu Dhabi that PSG's fine would be much higher than theirs. Since that agreement ManCity have spent €700m on new players. ManCity Secretary General Simon Cliff wrote after the death of one of the investigation chamber members in an email "one has fallen, there are six left." EDIT (05.11.18): Additional Info
The year FFP was introduced, ManCity spent 9.9M pounds too much, apparently because of the termination of Mancini's contract. The only solution according to an Email where Chief Financial Officer Jorge Chumillas wrote "an additional amount of Abu Dhabi sponsorship revenues, that covers this gap". CEO Ferran Soriano suggested having sponsors pay the amounts they have to pay for the victory of the FA cup, even though ManCity had not won the FA cup. Ten days later many different apparently according to City "fully independent" sponsorship deals were adjusted, Etihad paying 1.5M more, Aabar 0.5M more, and the tourism authority 5.5M more than the deals they negotiated at the begin of the season. When Chumillas asked Simon Pearce if the dates of the sponsorship deals could be modified the answer was "of course, we can do what we want". Already in 2010 ManCity made a 15M deal with Aabar, who according to an email from Simon Pearce would only pay 3M, the rest comes from quote "his highness" (the sheikh). In December 2013 Pearce wrote that Etihad's (mainsponsor) contribution is 8M. According to the contract it should have been 35M. In 2015 Etihad officially had to pay 67.5M pounds per year, but inoficially they were still paying just 8M, the rest coming from the Abu Dhabi United Group, who give companies like Etihad the money to then give it to ManCity, so that everything appears in order. Edit (06.11.18): Additional info from a new article
Another plan get Abu Dhabi money to the club was called "Project Longbow" (because the English used longbows to beat the French [in this context UEFA president Platini] at Crecy and Agincourt). This meant using parallel companies like Fordham to outsource the cost of image rights. 2013 ManCity sold the image rights of the players to the company that would later be called Fordham Sports Image Rights, which is attached to a company in the British Virgin Islands. This way money from Abu Dhabi could be injected. Officially Fordham paid players, without receiving anything themselves which UEFA investigators found suspicious, ManCity claimed that Fordham is an independent company and they don't know their business plan but agreed to the deal because it came at a good price. ManCity have recently stopped selling the image rights of their players, but Fordham still exists and has made in 2017 total losses 75M pounds. Edit (07.11.18): Additional info
Pep Guardiola signed the contract with ManCity already in October 2015, 2 months after his last season with Bayern started. His salary in his first season with ManCity was 13.5M pounds, in his second it is 16.75M. Several weeks later a journalist from Sunday Mirror wrote that Guardiola has met with ManCity director of football Txiki Begiristain in Barcelona to discuss a possible deal. At this moment the deal was already long signed. ManCity then said this is wrong information and told the newspaper to remove the article. ManCity also compiled a riskreport on a potential sponsor called Arabtec, who have a terrible human rights record in UAE. Their marketing team advised them to not accept the deal, because it would let City appear in a bad light, but they went through with the deal anyways, but made it only a regional deal, in those countries were democratic values and human rights are not always a priority. Edit (10.11.18): Another part
Since 2010 Manchester City has invested over a million euros a year in the so called "Right to Dream Academy" which has it's locations in African countries like Ghana. These children get a good education, but have also to work and travel a lot, and some around the age of 10 for example said that they have only time to call their parents on weekends, because their training schedule is so packed. Manchester City documents are referring to that invested money as "venture capital". The main point is not to have them at some point play for Manchester City's first team, but to loan and sell them, to make profit. After FIFA implemented new years in the last years, ManCity had to make changes at that academy, for example the Academy leader has taken control over a Danish team called FC Nordsjaelland, so that the academy players from Ghana can come to Europe through that club. There is an agreement that the Danish club can't sell Right to Dream Academy players without ManCity's permission. For being the third party club in that affair, they get 25% of the transferfee. Edit (10.11.18): Now this should be the last part about ManCity
In 2015 City tried to get De Bruyne for 50M, but VW Wolfsburg didn't want to sell, because Volkswagen doesn't need the money. ManCity were pressuring them and ultimately they sold him for 75M. A year later they both Bayern and ManCity tried to get Sané, but ManCity offered to 20 year old a salary of 24.5M pounds over 3 years. Spending money like that was possible because they were able to increase and back-date sponsoring contracts with companies from Abu Dhabi at will. Also the TV money helps, last year they received €170M from the league, which is for example 75% higher than what FC Bayern gets. This helps making it possible paying salaries like €11M/year for Gündogan or >18M for Aguero.
Already in 2009 they were studying how to make the most profit and came to the conclusion that it's not enough to own just one club, but instead create a global network of subsidiaries which makes it easier to bring in profits. Back then Roberto Mancini signed 2 contracts on the same day: as coach for ManCity and as "adviser" to the Al Jazira Sports and Cultural Club in the Arabian Gulf League, both clubs owned by Sheikh Mansour. ManCity paid him a salary of 1.45M pounds, but the Abu Dhabi club paid him an even higher salary extra of 1.75M per year.
To create such a network, they not only own Manchester City, New York City and Melbourne City but have also stakes in league teams in Uruguay, Spain and Japan. Also they have cooperation agreements with clubs in Scandinavia and with an African Youth academy. Uruguay because there are many quality footballers & the local teams have limited budgets, also they didn't need to pay any taxes on the profits from player transfers. The investment in Girona is so that ManCity's academy players can develop and play in competetive men's football.
In 2008 City was bought for 100M pounds, in 2015 a Chinese media company bought 13% of the stakes of the City Football Group for 265M pounds, which shows that the value of ManCity has increased by a factor of atleast 10 in the last 7 years and Sheikh Mansour believes that there can be created a way higher value from football than what has been established until now.
PSG received in total €1.8 billion
from Qatar. They were also close to being excluded from UCL, but Platini and Infantino covered it up. Nicolas Sarkozy told Emir of Qatar Tamim Al-Thani in a meeting in 2010 that if he bought PSG & launched a sports channel in France (BeIN Sports), that he would instruct Michel Platini to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup. Edit (07.11.18): Mbappé's transfer to PSG
Contract details about Mbappé at PSG are revealed. In the summer 2017 he nearly signed for Real Madrid, who offered €180M. His father was worried about the competition he would have at Madrid with forwards such as Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale. At the beginning of August he then told Monaco he would sign for PSG, who also agreed to pay 180M. The contract demands were 5M upfront and a salary of a total of 50M net over 5 years. Also he would receive an extra 30k/month to pay for his personal staff. He also demanded that in case he would win the Balon d'Or, his salary would rise so far, that he is the highest paid PSG player (more than Neymar). PSG refused. In case PSG would be excluded from UCL because of FFP, Mbappé's family wanted a monetary compensation. Monaco's owner received €124M out of the deal. The strange thing is that portoguese superagent Jorge Mendes (who is not Mbappé's agent) also received atleast 7.25M out of the deal. Spiegel are not exactly sure, but they say documents hint, that it might be for playing up the speculation that he would sign for Real Madrid, to increase his price. Edit (10.11.18): Racism at PSG's scouting department
PSG had a recruitment policy which lasted from 2013 until Spring of this year, which discriminated against ethnic minorities at youth academy level. An example is when a talent called Yann Gboho was 13, PSG did not make an offer, only because he is black. The scout rated him highly, but he wasn't signed by the club after a meeting between people working at PSG's academy, because of his skin color. Until Spring 2018 the scouts had in their scouting documents to note the "origin" of players between the 4 categories: French, Maghrebi, West Indian and Black African. A PSG scout agreed to Mediapart that it should say white rather than French, because all the players they scout are French. PSG doesn't want them to sign players born in Africa, because you can't be sure of their date of birth, he said.
Note: After this was leak was published PSG made a comunicado, confirming the use of these scouting forms with illegal contents which were instituted on the personal initiative of the head of this department. They condemn all forms of discrimination and racism and already made an internal investigation at the beginning of last october to understand how such practices could exist and to decide on the necessary measures to take. General
: In the coming weeks they will reveal the positive doping tests (note: plural) of a worldclass player who won the Championsleague multiple times
. (Note: not many fit that criteria except Real Madrid players and some Barça players). Also the tax avoidance models of some EPL titans.
The developments of a possible European Super League are more advanced than we thought. There is a binding term sheet thought to be signed this month. Started was this project by Bayern president Rumenigge. This would include 16 clubs. Bayern did already make research if the law made it possible to leave Bundesliga
to join a Super League and also if they could forbid their players to play for the nationalteam. This would mean that these clubs wouldn't be part of Championsleague or National Leagues like La Liga anymore, and have every week a game against another European giant. This would totally mess up the balance between big and small teams in Football, and would overall be a disaster for Football. UEFA obviously trying to avoid this is heavily pressured and even blackmailed by ECA and the top clubs, which did lead to a reform, which allots greater revenues to those clubs that have found success in the last 10 years in the Champions League and Europa League. This means that there is less money for Europaleague and therefore smaller clubs .The reform also gave the ECA 4 director slots in a company joined with UEFA (one of which ex Barça board member Raul Sanllehi will fill), which will oversee all deals the UEFA makes. Bayern director Gerlinger who was the most essential person in all of this says the Super League was a possibility but is "as far away as ever". Meanwhile Real Madrid received on Octover 22 an email titled "Draft of an Agreement of the 16", which included the binding term sheet to create the Super League, which would be a breakaway from UEFA and the national leagues
. This draft includes 11 founders (Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus Turin, FC Chelsea, FC Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, FC Liverpool, AC Milan and Bayern Munich) who have secured membership for 20 years, and 5 guests (which would initially be Atlético Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Olympique Marseille, Inter Milan and AS Roma). The competition would have two phases: a group round and a knockout round. A company in Spain would be registered to make this possible. Shares of this company would be distributed: Real Madrid holding 18.77 percent, Barcelona 17.61 percent and Manchester United 12.58 percent. Bayern Munich would be the fourth largest shareholder at 8.29 percent.
More about Infantino
Infantino also was vital that half of the money FIFA made would be distributed to the Associations in advance, without any control about what they would do with it (so that he would get reelected). In 2017 the investigators investigating Infantino were replaced by María Claudia Rojas, who has no experience in investigating, and is a good friend to the notoriously corrupt president of the columbian federation. She immediately cleared Infantino and did say that there are no investigations against him. After that also the FIFA code of ethics was changed (for example the word corruption disappearing). Rinaldo Arnold, a Swiss public prosecutor, is also a good friend with Infantino, who called him capo ("boss") in an email and who assured Infantino that the investigations wouldn't be against him and even offered to have the attorney general to publicly state that.
Edit: Added information from a new Article on 05.11.18 International Champions Cup (ICC):
A confidential document between Relevent Sports (note: the company organizing ICC and also want to have the Barça Girona game in the US) and FC Barcelona reveals how much money teams to play these friendlies: $3.25M per game. For the game against ManU there was a bonus of 750k, and for the Clásico in the USA a bonus of $6.5M. That's nearly $14M net for a week playing in the US with 3 games. In that contract were clauses: "if Messi didn't play for atleast 45min, Barça would receive 750k less, if Neymar didn't play 600k less, for Suárez 450k less".
According to Spiegel the chairman of Relevent Sports, Stillitano, has been trying for years to convince the biggest European clubs to play in a league, in which the best play against eachother. His goal is also to create a Superleague and lure them by showing them how big and plentiful the global revenues are.
Edit: Added information from a new article on 05.11.18 (info by Mediapart via @GFFN) AS Monaco:
Apparently the AS Monaco owner and Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev attempted to hide a massive, illegal amount of funding into the team with a fictitious marketing contract and through the involvement of a series of offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and Hong Kong. Over the time of 2 years he invested a total of €326M, which does violate the FFP. In 2014 a marketing deal was agreed to, that was in reality a yearly sum of €140M by Rybovlev. This deal did then later fell through, because the Dutch head of Swiss-based sports marketing agency had a disagreement with him and threatened to reveal the scam to UEFA. The Investigatory Chamber of UEFA did find some disturbing things, when going through Monacos finances, but the head of UEFA's FFP program Andrea Traverso did agree to help prepare the club for their Investigatory Chamber hearing.
By 2014 Monaco had made losses of €170M over 3 years. Because of their tiny city, they did not receive much money from ticket sales and sponsorship deals. Monaco's marketing director suggested to the president to build a close relationship with Platini, without "giving the slightest indication" that Monaco is violating FFP. Monaco made a marketing deal with AIM, which gave the agency the right to manage sponsorship and marketing for the club, but if Monaco did not make €140M per year revenue, AIM would have to pay the difference. The year before this deal Monaco had a total income (without TV money) of €14.4M, which would mean AIM has to pay €126M, which obviously is an absurd deal to make for AIM. This made Monaco have an income of 11m instead of losses of 116m like the year before. A company registered in the British Virgin Islands called City Concept Ventures "surprisingly" agreed to invest in AIM €140m for 10 years, exactly what they would have to pay to Monaco. The agency of AIM founder de Roos did receive €2.2M for participating in the scheme. This way the Monaco owner was able to put money into the club, through sponsorship contracts. This deal then later fell through, because Rybolovlev had fallen out with Prince Albert of Monaco and decided to stop investing into the club and therefore selling their players. UEFA never discovered this attempted scam.
Edit (06.11.18): Added information Russian Clubs
Zenit St Petersburg, Dynamo Moscow & Lokomotiv Moscow all artificially inflated sponsorship contracts in order to avoid FFP sanctions & UEFA were complicit in this practice. Edit (07.11.18): Added from a theblacksea.eu article
Zenit is owned by Gazprom, who pumped €113M into the club in 2012. UEFA was investigating in this. Zenit told them, that Russia's league has not the ability to generate revenues like European leagues and if they would have to comply with FFP, they would need to sell their best players. This would be very bad for Russia ahead of the world cup in 2018. UEFA seemed to accept that argument, because 6 months later they closed the case without excluding Zenit from the UCL. Similar things happened to Rubin Kazan, FC Lokomotiv Moscow and FC Dynamo Moscow. In the past 5 years the state Russia has injected over €1.65 billion into these clubs.
Edit (10.11.18): New article "Superagent" Pinhas Zahavi and his involvement in deals like Neymar to PSG
Let's start this with a quote by him to the investigative journalist meeting him: "So, listen: I did the biggest transfers in the history of world football. There isn't a big deal in the world where I'm not involved," the agent said. "There's no place in international football where I don't have influence and power."
The Israeli playeragent Pinhas Zahavi is one of the most powerful agents in world football, who is already way longer involved in football transfers than agents such as Mendes or Raiola, he already was part of transfers in the 1970s. He is known to position footballers against their colleagues, coaches and club bosses, and trying to forcefully push for a move to a new club. As an agent he is nearly invisible. He normally doesn't speak to press and does only "appear in the shadows". No one knows how much money he has floating around or which channels it is floating through. Many of the companies he owns or works for are located in tax heavens such as Gibraltar, Cyprus, Malta, British Virgin Islands. He engages law firms in Brazil and Israel to provide him legal support. He often joins forces with other superagents such as Mendes, or Ramadani. There were investigations against him, but never was anything illegal proven. Officially he is paying his taxes in Israel. Many of his companies have their business accounts at banks in Switzerland.
Last summer Lewandowski asked him for help, so that he could leave Bayern. Zahavi spoke with Lewandowski's agent Barthels, who told him that Bayern wouldn't agree to let him leave. He then went to the German newspaper Bild and openly told them that Lewandowski wants to leave and Bayern are aware of it, which made it on the frontpage. However he did not succeed with his plan to have Lewandowski leave Bayern.
However he was a vital part of the Neymar to PSG deal. He was noted as second agent, apart from Neymar Sr. and was due to receive €10.7+2M from that deal. Zahavi wanted that this would be paid to one of his companies in either Switzerland or Cyprus, but PSG didn't agree to it and after some angry emails he accepted that the money would be paid to his accounts in Israel.
His commissions are negotiated on a deal-by-deal basis and always by mobile phone, so there are often no concrete documents, which makes it harder to track it. Also his companies in tax paradises are often buying the transferrights of young (often underage) talents, for example Markovic to Liverpool of which Zahavi's company had half the transferrights.
Edit (10.11.18): Article was behind a paywall on Mediapart, so I used the summary of someone of soccer, hope everything is correct More about Neymar's move to PSG and also the "loyalty-bonus"
PSG had to pay each of his agents – his father Neymar Senior and Israeli agent Pini Zahavi – a commission sum of 10.7M + 8.7M for Santos. Total price of his transfer: €252M. Zahavi received a 1.5M payement the first year + 2M/year the next 4 years conditional on Neymar remaining with the club. His father received 6M the first year + 3M the following year. The operation to bring Neymar to Paris was codenamed “Gold”. Over a period of five years, the 25-year-old will cost PSG a total of 528 million euros. PSG first proposed a salary of 25M per year, but Neymar would succeed in obtaining 30M/year, free, for him, of social charges and tax. Means 54.7M/year for PSG. PSG were unable to reach an agreement that Neymar would not enter into deals with sponsors who were rivals of the club’s sponsors. PSG lacked the funds to meet the huge cost of the transfer. Information gained by the EIC suggests it was Qatar Sport Investment (QSI), owner of the club, which paid the entire amount.
Neymar wanted to make sure he was paid a bonus payment promised by Barça. This was a bonus sum of 64M
agreed when he prolonged his contract exactly one year earlier. He had been paid 21M, but their remained a further 43 million euros that FC Barcelona was committed to pay him by midnight on July 30th 2017 at the latest. On the morning of July 31st, the money transfer had still not been made. FC Barcelona informed Neymar that the 43 million euros had been deposited with a solicitor and will be released to him only if the player certifies that he will remain with the club. Since then, a legal battle continues. The player is still demanding payment of the 43M, FC Barcelona are demanding that the player pays the club 73M representing a total refund of the bonuses that were offered to him for prolonging his contract. On August 22nd 2017, Tebas lodged his complaint against PSG with UEFA, accusing the French club of violation of the European football associations’ ruling body’s financial fair play rules, and ten days later UEFA opened its investigation into the matter. The probe was opened against a backdrop of not only the pressure of La Liga, but also the anger against PSG of other enemies, including German club Bayern Munich.
According to documents obtained from Football Leaks, paying off of the cost of Neymar’s transfer plus the player’s salary would amount to a total of 528 million euros up until 2022, equivalent to 105 million euros per year. That meant that PSG would have to attract more than 100 million euros in extra revenue each year, or sell players to compensate for the difference. Including Mbappe the number rises to 166M. PSG asked Nike for a sponsorship deal worth 100 million euros per year. Nike declined because the contract with PSG, which they paid just more than 20 million euros per year, was not due to expire until 2022.
This sure betting site was able to become famous among betting companies thanks to one of the most attractive and easy to use websites for placing bets. Having obtained a license to conduct business in Ghana, the company, over time, was able to gain a high level of trust among local customers. The online betting companies have immediately noticed this rising tendency and today a lot of the leading European bookmakers offer their special gambling website versions for Ghana. On the other side, the market in Ghana can brag about many local betting operators, too. Betting companies in Ghana are competing against each other in terms of offering different promotions to lure customers to their sites. The critical point to note is the constant improvement of the sites and providing diverse sports options acts as the pull factor for new entrants. In Ghana, sport betting is one of the most favourite things to young people. And today, there are more than 20 local companies – plus hundreds international names – that operate on the market. People, who prefer to place bets via their mobile or desktop devices, are also more than those, who would go to a physical sports betting shop. Football betting sites in Ghana: best available solutions. It is impossible to envisage sports betting companies without football. Roughly every prominent one has football bets possibilities. Bet365 has the biggest coverage performance. It allows betting on 137 football leagues.