UEFA has opened a formal investigation into Paris Saint-Germain as part of its monitoring of clubs under Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, European football’s governing body has announced.
The Ligue 1 club’s huge spending stood as the defining feature of Europe’s summer transfer window, with Brazil superstar Neymar arriving at Parc des Princes from Barcelona for a world-record fee of €222million.
Blaise Matuidi and Serge Aurier are among the players to have been moved on from Unai Emery’s squad to recoup a portion of that incredible outlay but PSG completed another seismic swoop on deadline day by signing Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe.
The 18-year-old striker has joined on an initial loan deal for 2017-18, although terms are agreed on a permanent contract running until June 2022 for when PSG’s option to buy is activated.
Mbappe will reportedly cost PSG €180m at that point and UEFA cited “recent transfer activity” as a reason for formalising its examination of the capital club’s operations.
“The Investigatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body has opened a formal investigation into Paris Saint-Germain as part of its ongoing monitoring of clubs under Financial Fair Play regulations,” a statement from UEFA read.
“The investigation will focus on the compliance of the club with the break-even requirement, particularly in light of its recent transfer activity.
“In the coming months, the Investigatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body will regularly meet in order to carefully evaluate all documentation pertaining to this case.
“UEFA considers Financial Fair Play to be a crucial governance mechanism which aims to ensure the financial sustainability of European Club Football.
“UEFA will make no further comments on this matter while the investigation is ongoing.”
PSG were previously punished under FFP rules in May 2014 when the Qatari owned club’s sponsorship agreement with the Qatari Tourism Authority was deemed to have an unfair value by UEFA’s independent investigation panel.
Along with a €60m fine – reduced to €20m after FFP targets a year on from the punishment were met – PSG had their Champions League squad limited to 21 players in 2014-15 and had spending restrictions imposed.
Manchester City, who were sanctioned at the same time as PSG, announced they agreed to limit spending to €60million in the subsequent transfer window and cap their wage bill.
PSG were critical of those punishments at the time, labelling them as a “tremendous handicap… in terms of the club’s ability to fully compete on an equal footing against Europe’s biggest teams.”
The events of recent weeks means there can be no doubt over PSG’s capacity to do so now, although they risk further setbacks if they are unable to prove they will comply with FFP rules.
Clubs must not post losses in excess of €30m over a three-year period under FFP and PSG are widely thought to have structured the Mbappe deal with that restriction in mind.
At the end of July, ESPN reported Barcelona would report PSG for a breach of FFP if they ended up paying Neymar’s €222m release clause.
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