The website reveals transfer fee, wage and contract information about famous footballers, and was begun in September 2015. Its first leak was about third-party agreements between FC Twente and Doyen Sports, which led to the KNVB banning Twente from European football for three years. They leaked that AS Monaco paid €43 million for Radamel Falcao, rather than around €60 million as had been estimated. The website also revealed that when Neymar signed for FC Barcelona, he received an €8.5 million signing fee, and now earns €77,000 a week and has a buyout clause of €190 million (£152 million). A leak revealed that Gareth Bale's transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid was over €100 million, more than the €96 million the club had paid for Cristiano Ronaldo. The website also revealed that Ronaldo earned €1.1 million for doing a photoshoot with Mobily. The website has also leaked that James Rodríguez's transfer from Monaco to Real Madrid was €75 million plus €15 million in additional clauses.
In January 2016, it was claimed that Football Leaks was being investigated by the Portuguese authorities over claims of blackmail and extortion. In February, Liga de Fútbol Profesional President Javier Tebas blamed FIFA for the leaks of contract details of three La Liga players. In April 2016, the website announced that it was temporarily ceasing its leaks.
European Investigative Collaborators (EIC)
In December 2016, Der Spiegel and other partners at the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) network (L'Espresso (Italy), Le Soir (Belgium), NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands), The Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism / TheBlackSea.eu (Romania), Mediapart (France), Politiken (Denmark), Falter (Austria), NewsWeek (Serbia), El Mundo (Spain), The Sunday Times (UK) and Expresso (Portugal)) began to publish information about tax avoidance by several football stars. Some of the information was collected by Football Leaks. The leaks include "about 18.6 million documents , including contracts, e-mails and spreadsheets, which served as material for investigative journalism work by 60 journalists from 12 European media." On 5 December, El Mundo revealed a judicial decree from Spanish judge Arturo Zamarriego that prohibits EIC from publishing information until "the legal investigation of its obtaining". Reporters Without Borders described the decision as "an attempt to censor on a continental scale".
The Doyen Group
The leaks revealed how Doyen Sports Investment owned by the Arif family—Tevfik Arif, Arif Arif, and their two brothers—who have been involved in soccer in Europe since 2011, played a "central role in major sports deals in the past decade." They benefit from the trade in Third-Party Ownership (TPO) of footballers, "whereby a player’s economic rights are owned in stakes by investors". "According to the Football Leaks documents obtained by Der Spiegel and shared with the EIC, Doyen Sports operated with offshore structures between Malta, the United Arab Emirates and the British Virgin Islands." One of the creators of Football Leaks conducted an interview with Der Spiegel in February 2016 using the pseudonym John during the interview.
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- Bucholtz, Andrew (16 December 2015). "Shadowy Football Leaks Site Exposes Soccer Clubs' Questionable Dealings, Faces Reprisals". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- Malyon, Ed (23 January 2016). "Football Leaks website investigated by police over €1million BLACKMAIL plot involving leading sports agency". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
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- Fernandez-Abascal, Eduardo (11 April 2016). "Neymar: Football Leaks reveals Barcelona star earns almost €10m a season with €190m release clause". International Business Times. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
- Percy, John (21 January 2016). "Gareth Bale contract leak sparks panic at Real Madrid". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
- "Football Leaks: €1.1m for a photo shoot". By433.com. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
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- "Tebas: FIFA at fault for contract leaks". Football Espana. 10 February 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- Paul, Sumeet (27 April 2016). "Controversial website Football Leaks could be lining up big revelations". CaughtOffside.com. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
- Buschmann, Rafael (6 May 2016). "Enthüllungsplattform: Football Leaks legt Pause ein". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved 11 May 2016.
- "Football Leaks anuncia interrupção". Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). 27 April 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
- "Football Leaks: Ronaldo and Mourinho accused of tax avoidance". BBC News. 3 December 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- "Football Leaks, the soccer's business secrets: Cristiano Ronaldo and Mourinho go offshore". espresso.repubblica.it. 2016-12-02. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- Recuero, Marisa (5 December 2016). "El juez Zamarriego prohíbe difundir Football Leaks en toda Europa" [Judge Zamarriego prohibits publishing of Football Leaks in all Europe]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- "Football Leaks revelations: the second week in summary". EIC. 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- Sorbello, Paolo (3 January 2017). "Football Leaks: The Kazakh Connection". The Diplomat.
- "Football Leaks: The Dirty Tricks of Doyen Sports". The Black Sea. December 21, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
- "The Doyen Group". El Mundo. 17 December 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
- Buschman, Rafael (28 February 2016). "Wanted Man: A Visit with A Football Leaks Creator". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
- Football Leaks at Wordpress (official website)
- Football Leaks at European Investigative Collaborations (EIC)