According to Sky Sports News, Premier League players and employees across the country are being warned of the potential risks of participating in the Fantasy Premier League.
Following are the most recent high profile cases where team messages could be leaked to opponents.
Sky Sports News reported Monday that new software, or “bots”, was used to scan any changes made to teams by people who work in football clubs – information that is then automatically posted on social media.
According to the rules of the Fantasy Premier League, participants must make changes to their team (substitutions or transfers) 90 minutes before the first game of a game week.
This could mean posting information prior to a game on a Friday night pointing to the team news of a Premier League team playing on a Saturday or Sunday – or worse, a full 73 hours before two teams play football on Monday night.
Now, officials from several top clubs have told Sky Sports News that, although the game has not been banned on the training grounds, players and staff should avoid adding players from their own clubs to their Fantasy League teams in order for them to do so . Don’t accidentally overlook confidential team messages.
Sky Sports News reached out to all 20 Premier League teams to ask for anonymous feedback.
One club said a number of junior staff – such as those involved in statistical analysis or physical therapy support – had no idea that they were being attacked by the software or that their changes on the fantasy team could be used to send team news to give to others.
Another club said team news is a closely guarded secret and so they would look back on the subject to make sure no opponent could gain a competitive advantage.
An official from a third unnamed club said he did not believe participating in the Fantasy Premier League was up to the standards expected by football professionals and they would convey that belief to the squad and support staff.
A fourth club told Sky Sports News that they are aware of the potential pitfalls but hopes recent publicity on the issue has “focused” the minds of their players and staff who they trust are using “common sense” .
A fifth club official said he had applied new terms and conditions to those within the club who play the game, as well as new guidelines on what to avoid.
Two other Premier League clubs told Sky Sports News that they see no problem with the game and would not make any changes to their rules or guidelines at this point.