PSG, Manchester City, Gianni Infantino Named in New Shocking Football Leaks

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2018

The acronym of FIFA is pictured on the facade of its headquarters on December 3, 2015 in Zurich.  
The unprecedented corruption scandal engulfing FIFA widened on December 3 with the arrests of two more top officials in another dramatic dawn raid at a luxury hotel in Zurich.  / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

The latest round of Football Leaks reports dropped on Friday, accusing both Premier League champions Manchester City and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain of fraud to avoid financial fair play sanctions.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, former UEFA President Michel Platini and even former French President Nicolas Sarkozy were all named in the reports, per Mediapart (h/t sportswriter Jonathan Johnson and Get French Football News):

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

Football Leaks/Mediapart: PSG’s Qatari owners pumped €1.8bn into the club with the help of both Michel Platini & Gianni Infantino. Their cover prevented PSG from being excluded from all European competition on FFP grounds.

Get French Football News @GFFN

Breaking | Football Leaks headline: Manchester City avoided harsh FFP sanctions thanks in part to Nicolas Sarkozy. More follows.

German outlet Der Spiegel expanded on the reports, publishing a damning article on Infantino. The 48-year-old was named FIFA President in 2016 with the explicit task of cleaning up the organisation, but according to "thousands of internal memos" he has allegedly done the exact opposite:

"If Infantino has to decide whether something is good for him and his power, or good for FIFA and its reputation, he'll opt for power and hazard the consequences of the damage it might do to FIFA. That is according to someone who has known Infantino long enough to be so scared of him to say: 'Don't quote me by name.' Infantino only sees things in black and white: 'You're either his friend or his enemy.' Anyone who doesn't unconditionally do as he says has to go."

The report goes on to detail how he allegedly "cut secret deals" with City and PSG in 2014 while he was still UEFA's general secretary. Those deals reportedly allowed the clubs to circumvent financial fair play regulations and play European football.

More details on those deals were revealed in a separate Der Spiegel report. Infantino allegedly went out of his way to ensure PSG and City avoided major punishment, proposing "compromises" and even "supplying them with confidential materials."

The report outlines how Infantino tried to go against the Club Financial Control Body, eventually succeeding with the help of Platini.

Some of the tactics used reportedly included greatly inflated sponsorship deals:

Get French Football News @GFFN

Breaking | Football Leaks headline: Manchester City’s owners allegedly injected €2.7bn into the club over the last 7 years through its shareholders & over-valued sponsorship contracts which infringe FFP regulations.

As shared by Get French Football News, Sarkozy played a role in the acquisition of PSG, as he allegedly told Platini to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup:

Get French Football News @GFFN

Football Leaks headline: 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.

Rumours Qatar bought the World Cup have been rife for years, and in 2017 courts were told a FIFA official took bribes from the nation, per the Guardian's Oliver Laughland.

Per Johnson both PSG and City have denied the allegations. 

Get French Football News released more from the reports throughout the evening:

Get French Football News @GFFN

Football Leaks Headline: In 2014, the UEFA Council asked Manchester City to come up with their own punishment that they would be happy with taking after they infringed upon FFP regulations following a €233m loss made between 2011 and 2013, according to Mediapart. More follows.

Get French Football News @GFFN

Football Leaks claim that a Manchester City executive sent an email following the death of an FFP investigator as follows: "One has fallen, there are six to go." https://t.co/3H6pQJljBo

Der Spiegel's reporting also included a section on the long-rumoured European superleague, stating several elite clubs have already been hard at work on such a competition:  


A coalition that includes FC Bayern Munich spent months working on plans to create a private league of elite teams behind the backs of associations and other teams. #footballleaks #dirtydeals https://t.co/cXf1wXgqMP

Football Leaks and the European Investigative Collaborations―a network of outlets that includes Der Spiegel, Mediapart and others―have previously reported on some of the sport's top players and managers, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Jose Mourinho, per Bleacher Report's Richard Fitzpatrick.  

Der Spiegel have announced more reports will be published in the coming weeks. Among those reports will be the name of a "multiple Champions League winner" who tested positive for doping and an explanation of how giant Premier League clubs avoid taxes.