CARDIFF City Football Club’s tax woes were exposed in public due to the News Of The World’s rampant hacking of anything, everything and everyone.
The Sunday tabloid will publish its final ever edition this Sunday after the British public finally realised it had been lapping up information that’s none of its business for the past 168 years.
Outrage from everyone in Britain at revelations the NotW hacked every answer phone in the country forced advertisers to abandon the title. Matters then came to a head when owner Rupert Murdoch announced he would close the paper, but not before printing one final edition in aid of charity.
The extent of the hacking was finally laid bare when former Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale announced he is to sue the paper (good luck with that now mate) for hacking into his Hotmail email account. While at the helm of the Championship club Mr Ridsdale, like thousands of other business leaders, used Hotmail to conduct confidential financial affairs.
Peter ‘The Riddler’ Ridsdale said information published had hit his standing as one of the most popular people in South Wales and gave the impression that what was previously believed to have been one of the most financially sound and best run professional football clubs had less money than a parks league side.
“I think it [the publication] materially damaged my relationship with the supporters at Cardiff at the time because of the information that was published,” said Mr Ridsdale, also formerly chairman at Leeds United when the club was in the Premiership.
“People all around South Wales used to adore me and would stop me in the street to say ,’Peter, I really admire you for the job you did at Leeds’. But after my Hotmail was hacked it all went tits up.
“Unfortunately I’d put the money we’d raised in advance season ticket sales on me winning Mr Cardiff. I was sure I would win it, and even at 2/1 on the money we would have made back would have been phenomenal. We would have then used that to buy a new squad and guaranteed promotion to the Premier League,” explained Mr Ridsdale displaying the financial insight that has now seen him installed as chairman at debt ridden Plymouth Argyle.
He said he’d realised his emails had been hacked as there was no other way anyone would ever have guessed that Cardiff City would have struggled to pay a £2.7 million tax bill in January 2010.
“I have 24,000 e-mails and they had access for five days, I don’t know what they sought, what they found, I just know what they used,” Mr Ridsdale said: “In fact most of them were about Hotmail and Windows upgrades, but that’s the thing with Hotmail it has very impressive storage capacity, just a shame about the security really – but like every other ordinary Joe in the country I could never have imagined I would have been of interest to the snoops and hackers of the News Of The Screws.”