French football club Paris Saint-Germain could be in danger of falling foul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, the organisation’s head Michel Platini has admitted.
In an interview with French daily "Le Parisien", published on Thursday, the former France international said he could not be certain if the club from the French capital was operating within the rules.
“Does PSG comply with Financial Fair Play? Not sure, not sure at all,” he told the newspaper.
UEFA’s FFP regulations, first introduced in 2011, are designed to prevent clubs from relying on huge investments by wealthy owners and to stop excessive spending on transfers and wages.
However, there are concerns that clubs could try to get around the rules by using inflated sponsorship deals with sponsors linked to club owners.
PSG, reigning French champions and currently sitting at the top of Ligue 1, became one of the world’s richest clubs after being bought by the Qatari royal family in 2011.
The club receives much of its funding through a sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), worth up to 200 million euros a year.
“Let’s say simply that the economic model of PSG is special and atypical,” Platini said. “This contract with QTA is innovative … But is it valid? Is the value of the deal correct? These are questions that the experts must decide.”
No Champions League expulsions
Those clubs found in breach of FFP could face stern penalties, including expulsion from the Champions League and Europa League competitions.
But with the first sanctions set to be announced by UEFA in early May, Platini told "Le Parisien" that European football’s governing body will not impose the toughest punishments at this stage.
“If you’re expecting blood and tears, you’ll be disappointed,” he said. “There will be some tough measures but not expulsion from European competitions.”
Nevertheless, Platini dismissed suggestions UEFA would be lenient on clubs that flout the rules.
"You will see. But I think significant sanctions will hit big clubs. We will see this through,” he said.
Other punishments UEFA could impose include points deductions and limits on registering new players for European competitions.
Date created : 2014-04-24