It emerged on Saturday that the club had made a significant payment to their top-flight rivals in September 2013 on the back of accusations they had wrongly accessed City’s scouting database.
Michael Edwards, then head of performance and analysis, along with scouts Dave Fallows and Julian Ward, were alleged to have utilised their Scout7 system over an eight-month period.
This occurred between 2012 and 2013, and is believed to have come using a City scout’s log-in details—Fallows and Ward had recently joined Liverpool from the Manchester club.
The settlement was reached out of court, and there is no acceptance of wrongdoing from the Reds, but it is suggested it sped up City’s deals to sign Fernandinho and Jesus Navas.
The rule in question is that “each club shall behave towards each other club and the League with the utmost good faith,” with chairman of the parliamentary digital, culture, media and sport committee Damian Collins quoted.
“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,” Collins told the Times.
“It is an important issue if confidential player data was being accessed.
“There could even be grounds for this being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office.”
The club have issued a ‘no comment’ statement via the Liverpool Echo, while Jurgen Klopp was questioned on the matter at the end of his post-Chelsea press conference but the issue was swiftly dismissed.
Liverpool are no stranger to transfer controversy in recent years, most notably in their efforts to sign Virgil van Dijk in 2017, which led to a public apology to Southampton under threat of a report to the Premier League.
They were also banned from signing academy players for two years in 2017, with one year suspended, following an investigation into the aborted signing of an 11-year-old from Stoke City.
Edwards has been widely lauded for his business acumen, in signings, sales and new contracts, but this certainly casts a shadow of the Reds’ approach if true.