The publisher of the News of the World paid £1m in court costs after its journalists were accused of involvement in phone tapping, it has been claimed.
The Guardian says three cases were settled out of court after journalists allegedly hired private investigators who obtained the information illegally.
It claims News Group paid £700,000 in damages and costs to the head of the professional footballers' association.
News International told the paper the case "means nothing to anyone here".
A spokesman said: "This particular case means nothing to anyone here, and I've talked to all the people who would be involved." The BBC has yet to receive a response from News International.The Guardian claims up to 3,000 high-profile figures were targeted including model Elle Macpherson, former deputy prime minister John Prescott and the publicist Max Clifford.