September 23 – Liverpool reportedly paid Manchester City £1 million in September 2013 to end allegations that the club’s scouts had been spying on the activity of their Manchester counterparts.
The report, in the Sunday Times, names two former Man City employees – Dave Fallows, now Liverpool’s head of recruitment, and Julian Ward, now the club’s loan pathways manager – as accessing the Man City database on the Scout7 system.
They gained entry to the online system using the log-in and password of a Man City scout between June 2012 and February 2013.
That log-in enabled Liverpool to monitor which players Man City were tracking. Scout7 holds performance data and video on more than half a million players worldwide.
News reports in June 2013 said that Man City believed their scouting database had been hacked by an employee at another Premier League club. Their belief was confirmed by computer fraud investigators and pointed towards Liverpool and the former City employees.
The impact of the database hack is unclear, though the Sunday Times suggests the Man City signings of Fernandinho for £36 million from Shakhtar Donetsk and Jesus Navas for £18 million from Seville were speeded up City feared they could lose both signings.
The report has prompted calls for a Premier League investigation by Damian Collins, the chairman of the parliamentary digital, culture, media and sport committee.
“I do believe the Premier League should now try to establish exactly what happened in this case and how the clubs came to a settlement. It is an important issue if confidential player data is being accessed. There could even be grounds for this being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office,” said Collins.
Both clubs have refused to comment on the incident or the legal settlement.
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