A report from The Times is claiming that Liverpool paid Manchester City a £1 million settlement in September of 2013 after they were caught spying on the Etihad outfit.
It is claimed that the current Premier League champions hired espionage experts to see if their private networks had been compromised and Liverpool employees were later accused of hacking into City’s Scout7 system.
A settlement was negotiated by directors who are no longer at the club after a legal complaint was made to Liverpool by their top-flight counterparts stating that their database was unlawfully accessed via the login and password of a former City scout over an eight-month stretch from June 2012 to February 2013.
Per the Times, the settlement was reached without the Reds accepting wrongdoing and the accusations were never brought before a court.
“Liverpool paid a £1 million settlement to Manchester City after their Premier League rivals made a complaint that their scouting system had been hacked into,” a section of the report reads.
“The confidential settlement took place in September 2013 after it was reported that City had employed computer-espionage experts to see if the system had been spied on.
“The scandal would appear to be the biggest incident of alleged misbehaviour by one top-flight club to another in the Premier League’s history.”
If these allegations had been proven, City would have exposed be the biggest breach of trust among Premier League sides in the history of the division, unless there’s a lot more that has been kept under wraps. League rules state that “each club shall behave towards each other clubs and the League with utmost good faith,” and such a breach would have prompted heavy fines, as well as possible point deduction.
It is understood that City became suspicious after finding out that Liverpool also became interested in Real Zaragoza youth player Paolo Fernandes while they were scouting him. Their suspicions are said to have forced them to expedite negotiations to sign Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk and Spaniard Jesus Navas from Sevilla.
City signed Fernandes, now 21, in 2017 and he’s currently on loan at Perugia in Italy. The club refused to comment when contacted by certain UK outlets.
The Manchester side have only just completed a rout of Watford with an 8-0 win at home. They will be facing Everton at Goodison Park next weekend and are 1/3 favourites to topple the Toffees with Bet365, who are also offering 9/2 on a draw and 7/1 on a victory for the home side.
Pep Guardiola’s men are favoured to retain the League title after winning it these past two seasons and William Hill has 8/11 odds on a third successive win. Meanwhile, Liverpool are at 7/5 with Paddy Power. Betway has odds of 66/1 on Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur winning the League while their London rivals Chelsea are 100/1 with Bet365.
City striker Sergio Aguero is the favourite to finish as the top flight’s top scorer at 7/2 with Betfair and Spurs’ Harry Kane is tied at the top with the same odds. Reds hotshot Mohamed Salah is 9/2 with Paddy Power while Raheem Sterling is 11/2.