RE­QUIRED READ­ING

FourFourTwo - - UPFRONT -

It’s well known that foot­ballers’ salaries have a ten­dency to be rather opaque, but the strength of Foot­ball Leaks is its ‘black and white’ ap­proach to shar­ing the true fig­ures.

There’s the an­nual wage paid to Di­dier Drogba at Shang­hai Shen­hua, Zla­tan’s weekly pay packet at Manch­ester United, and the ex­tra­or­di­nary amount paid to Paul Pogba’s agent to take the French­man back to Old Traf­ford in the sum­mer of 2016.

There is a risk that the au­thors’ in­tense ap­proach to re­veal­ing the scarcely cred­i­ble sums could lose its ca­pac­ity to sur­prise af­ter a while, though tales of coded texts, en­crypted hard drives and whistle­blow­ers en­able the story to rat­tle along and, at times, give it the feel of a Bourne film.

Foot­ball Leaks also re­veals the hu­man cost of third par­ties and agents pil­lag­ing clubs. A rel­e­vant and highly alarm­ing read.

Foot­ball Leaks Rafael Buschmann and Michael Wulzinger (Guardian Faber, £12.99)

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