Manchester City in more trouble as hacker who exposed FFP breaches threatens to release more emails

Manchester City in more trouble as hacker who exposed FFP breaches threatens to release more emails

Pulse Sports Team 15:00 - 23.06.2024

Pinto, who gained access to thousands of City emails in 2018 and leaked them a while after, has threatened to release even more emails, putting the league champions in more trouble.

The hacker behind the explosive Football Leaks scandal, Rui Pinto, has issued a fresh threat to Manchester City, claiming he possesses a trove of emails and documents that purportedly prove the club deliberately cheated Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. 

Pinto, who previously leaked sensitive City documents in 2018, has reportedly provided German and French authorities with "millions" of documents that he asserts have "criminal relevancy."

According to The Sun, the 35-year-old Pinto, who has been under a witness protection program since 2020, avoided prison last year despite receiving a four-year suspended sentence in Portugal for attempted extortion and illegal data access.

Pinto is believed to have retained the majority of documents related to Manchester City's financial dealings, including bombshell revelations about the club's sponsorship income and former manager Roberto Mancini's contract.

Manchester City, facing a hearing into 115 Premier League charges of alleged financial irregularities this autumn, continue to deny any wrongdoing. 

The charges include allegations of disguising payments through third parties as sponsorship revenue, a blatant violation of FFP rules.

From his undisclosed safehouse, Pinto addressed the Offshore-Alert Marbella Conference via video link.

 "The Man City releases showed amounts of money being paid into by the club that were not mentioned to the football authorities. 

“These documents are part of the Premier League investigation into City. I have now handed five hard drives to French and German authorities with millions of documents, including more on City, and I have described what is on each. I am confident they will find criminal relevancy."

A legal representative for Pinto added, "We have been approached by investigators to share information regarding Manchester City that has not been released before. 

“We haven't released the information yet, but we have a massive file of Manchester City-related documents that has yet to be released. The files will be published at some point; we cannot say when but we will do it."

Pinto's past leaks led to UEFA imposing a shock two-year European ban on Manchester City in 2020 for breaching financial regulations, accompanied by a fine of nearly £25 million.

 However, City successfully overturned their suspension at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which cleared them of "disguising equity funds as sponsorship contributions." The breaches were alleged to have occurred between 2012 and 2016.

In response to the ongoing FFP investigation, Manchester City expressed surprise and launched a robust defense, stating, "The club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent Commission, to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position. 

As such, we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all."

As Pinto's revelations loom, the football world awaits further developments that could potentially impact Manchester City's standing and future in the sport.

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