LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 7, 2018: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (C) separates Sadio Mane (R) and Manchester City's Fernando Luiz Roza 'Fernandinho' (L) during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Premier League “under pressure” to investigate Liverpool’s £1m hacking settlement with Man City

The Premier League are claimed to be “under pressure” to investigate the £1 million settlement Liverpool paid to Man City in 2013 after scout hacking claims.

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.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, August 9, 2019: Liverpool's Director of Football Michael Edwards during the opening FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Now, the Times report that the Premier League are being urged to investigate the situation by two clubs “given that it would appear to have contravened its rules.”

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.”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 19, 2016: Southampton's Virgil Van Dijk arrives ahead of the FA Premier League match against Everton at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.