Interview with »Football Leaks«
»The start of a new era in football«
Why did you decide to publish documents and information on a blog and not provide information to the media?
Portuguese media usually ignore incriminating informations regarding specific football clubs. The lobby is too big, and even the Portuguese Football Federation and the Portuguese League are accessary to TPO deals, similar to the ones involving Twente in the Netherlands. Creating a website was the best solution, a huge amount of people found out about it, and social networks did the rest.
In publishing documents one could say you violated the bank secrecy. How you would justify these publications?
From the past four years Doyen Sports was surrounded by mystery, they rarely talked to the press and they never showed any sign of transparency. No one knew nothing about their TPO deals, the secret clauses and mostly importantly no one knew who was the real investor. As everybody can see Doyen is a clear offshore structure using trustees to hide the ultimate beneficial owners. Publishing Bank Statements is just another way to help FIFA in their compliance activities and the Malta Financial Services Authority in their investigation against Doyen’s irregular activities.
Why don't you just contact Fifa then? Why did you choose a platform?
As everyone knows FIFA was affected by a huge scandal, so at that time we were not sure if sending documents to the FIFA would really make a difference. A platform surely was the best solution in our opinion, but of course we can directly collaborate with FIFA if they ask to.
You were accused of hacking information and documents. What do you make of that?
Doyen made the accusations. The same people that lied and deceived the Dutch Football Federation, and the same people that said the secret TPO document was false. That says it all about Doyen Sports and their modus-operandi.
So did you hack information and documents?
Surely not, and we can give you an example. Doyen Sports accused us of perpetrating a cyber attack, and in a statement (available on their website) they said that on October 4, 2015, they filled a criminal participation to the police regarding that matter. But this past weeks we published documents about Doyen dating of November and December. So how could that be a cyberattack?!
The key question is how do you get to your information. The president of Sporting said you acted on behalf of arch rivals Benfica. Could you deny having bonds to officials of other clubs or pursuing an agenda of a club/party with these publications?
Yes, we have no agenda. We are just fighting for the sake of the sport, but we can’t change anything on our own. Fortunately the Bale’s leak took us to a wider audience and now a lot more people has got the chance to read all the controversial documents involving clubs and investments funds.
Are there any bonds to officials of other clubs?
No, we are totally independent.
You published agreements between Tottenham and Real that showed that Bale was the most expensive player. Can you tell us how your work has changed after the impact of the Bale revelations?
First of all our mailbox is a mess at this moment. We’ve been receiving hundreds of emails, and that’s surely a good thing. We are finally making an impact across the world and we hope that’s the start of a new era of transparency in football.
The leak concerning Mesut Özil was as startling as the Bale one. But what was the reason for you to publish it? Because there were no revelation concerning investors as far as I know.
We don’t only publish contracts revealing links to investors, we also want to expose secret clauses and undisclosed fees.