Hoffenheim Chief’s Company Got Bulk Of Firmino Transfer Fee
Liverpool’s purchase from Hoffenheim of midfielder Roberto Firmino is the subject of a remarkable allegation in the Football Leaks book which is published today.
The Reds bought Firmino from the German club in 2015 for a fee of €41million (£29million). But in Football Leaks: The Dirty Business Of Football written by journalists Michael Wulzinger and Rafael Buschmann and which is published today by Der Spiegel, only a fraction of the fee ever made it into the Hoffenheim coffers.
The German club, bankrolled by millionaire Dieter Hopp, saw only €7million (around £5.5million at the time) of the transfer fee. The remainder went to a Hopp-controlled company, Transfair Rechteverwertungsgesellschaft mbH & Co KG.
The company, based in the German city of Heidelberg, has been in operation since 2012 and was involved in a number of Hoffenheim transfers. But the Daily Mirror claims that Hopp’s interest in Tranfair ended just three days after the Firmino deal was closed.
There is no suggestion that Liverpool acted improperly in the deal.
One transfer that appears in the book and which has since attracted the attention of the footballing authorities is that of Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United. Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is showed to have made £41million from the deal: £22.5million from transfer itself, £16million payable by United over five years and £2.5million from Pogba himself.
Fifa announced on Wednesday that the transfer is being investigated by its compliance department. United responded that Fifa have had the paperwork since last August.
Meanwhile, the book claims that former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was paid £9million by Real Madrid – after he was sacked by the La Liga side. Benitez lasted just six months as Real coach last season. He was sacked with the side out of contention for the La Liga title and kicked out of the Copa del Rey for playing an ineligible player. But Benitez picked up £8.5million in compensation when he was sacked. He also earned an additional £500,000 as a bonus when Real won the Champions League last season.