Rui Pinto, a football fan who campaigned against corporate greed in the upper echelons of the game, is on trial in Portugal for revealing the financial secrets of elite clubs.
The 32-year-old, who created the Football Leaks website, is accused of attempted extortion and hacking into the systems of some of Europe’s top sides.
Rui Pinto, a football fan who campaigned against corporate greed in the upper echelons of the game, is on trial in Portugal for revealing the financial secrets of elite clubs
Described by his allies as a whistleblower, Pinto has leaked 70 million documents exposing backroom deals, including a leak in November 2018 revealing the plans spearheaded by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez for a European Super League.
‘The founders have agreed to create a European football competition under the name of the European Super League or ESL,’ said one document sent in an email to Perez on October 22, 2018, which named Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool among the top clubs slated to participate.
Pinto’s revelations have ranged from the tax affairs of Cristiano Ronaldo to details of Manchester City’s sponsorship deals.
Ronaldo was subsequently investigated for tax evasion and agreed to pay a fine of £16.7 million to the Spanish authorities.
William Bourdon, one of Pinto’s lawyers, has said his client ‘must be recognised as one of the greatest whistleblowers of the beginning of this century’.