German publication Der Spiegel have blown the whistle on a number of fascinating stories in the world of football in recent days.
Last week, they revealed that a number of top European clubs have held secret talks to launch a European Super League in 2021.
Real Madrid, AC Milan, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester United are considering leaving their respective national leagues and creating a breakaway league.
Der Spiegel, working with Football Leaks, also say that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain were allowed to break Financial Fair Play rules.
The publication’s work has exposed some nasty details about the greed in the sport.
Indeed, FIFA president Gianni Infantino apparently assisted Man City and PSG to avoid FFP punishments during his time at UEFA.
BBC Sport reporter Simon Stone has uncovered another interesting piece of information in Der Spiegel’s stories.
Messi, Neymar and Suarez agreement
Apparently, La Liga giants Barcelona received a $4 million payment when they played Manchester United in Washington and $9.75m for playing Real Madrid in Miami in 2017.
The Blaugrana were competing in the International Champions Cup, which is clearly a lucrative event to play in.
But Barcelona had to fill some requirements in order to receive the full payments, and they were related to three of their star players.
According to Der Spiegel, there were clauses in the deal that meant Barcelona wouldn’t receive the full payments if Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar didn’t play.
Unsurprisingly, all three started both matches.
It makes you wonder about all the secret deals that take place on a regular basis in football.
Who would have thought that Barcelona would be paid just to make sure that Messi, Neymar and Suarez all featured in two matches?
Of course, the three players, dubbed ‘MSN’ before Neymar left for Paris Saint-Germain, are three of the biggest names in the game.
And there were clearly some very important people who were willing to pay a considerable sum of money to guarantee their attendance.