On a day when Premier League club Manchester City celebrate a first-leg victory against the Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League, there comes this hammer blow that the Blues’ manager Pep Guardiola’s email was hacked by a rogue IT worker who was arrested by the Greater Manchester Police. This IT worker claims he accessed Pep Guardiola’s email when he was part of the contractual team at the Etihad base back in 2017 and claims it was the “easiest thing I've ever had to do”.
In a report published by The Sun, the man was attempting to pocket £100,000 in exchange for the data he had collected from his unsavoury exploits and demanded that he be paid in crypto-currency Bitcoin. The Sun says they contacted the Manchester City management and shared the dossier of evidence with them. The report states that the police have conducted a search of the man’s home and were also examining his computers, mobile phones and email accounts.
Manchester City are owned by billionaire Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and are the reigning Premier League champions, though rivals Liverpool are poised to take that crown away from them this season. Last night, City won the Champions League encounter with Real Madrid and head into the second leg of the knockout round with a goal advantage. Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne scored for City after Isco gave Real Madrid the lead. The Champions League is one title that City really want to win.
The hacker says he managed to access every email in Pep Guardiola’s inbox as well as contacts for every single player who is playing or has recently played for the club. He also claims to have information on City’s potential transfer targets, or at least they were. “Reeling off information about “possible transfers to City”, he said he had seen chats relating to ex-Ajax centre back Matthijs de Ligt and former Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos,” reports the newspaper. De Ligt, 20, moved from Ajax to Juventus in the summer transfer window last year while Papastathopoulos, 31, joined another English club Arsenal in 2018.
The hacker has shown investigators several screenshots that he has sent to his ProtonMail account, which he claims the police have not been able to access. ProtonMail is an encrypted email service that is available on smartphones as well as desktops and is free to use.
Manchester City’s contact with the firm this man worked for ended in 2017. “A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990,” confirms the Greater Manchester Police. The investigation is ongoing.