PSG’s signing of Messi rekindles debate on UEFA FFP rules

    Lionel Messi’s signing from Paris Saint-Germain has sparked a debate over the effectiveness of UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, which were designed to reduce overspending but have eased in recent years due to its pandemic. coronavirus.

    The rules were enacted in 2009 to prevent clubs from overspending and distorting the market, requiring teams to level and maintain wages and transfer fees according to income.

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    PSG and Manchester City were among the teams that broke the rules, although both teams avoided excessive punishment after winning appeals through the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    The easing of rules to help clubs cope with the financial shock of the pandemic, however, does not mean that neither PSG nor City – who last week broke the Premier League transfer record to buy Jack Grealish for 100 100 million ($ 138 million) – they did not have to worry about new inquiries about their spending.

    “We know the rules of Financial Fair Play and we will always abide by the rules,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khalifi said in Messi’s presentation on Wednesday.

    “Before we do anything, we communicate with our business, financial and legal people. We have the ability to sign him. If we sign Leo, it is because we can, otherwise we would not have done it.”

    PSG’s revenue for 2019-20 was 541 million euros, according to a KPMG report, while their salary was 405 million euros.


    Their salary spending has risen in the last year, however, since Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma signed free transfers, allowing them to offer better salaries instead of transfer fees.

    PSG also paid € 60 million for full-back Ahraf Hakimi from Milan, while Messi’s signing – who will pay € 25 million and an annual salary of € 63 million – has further inflated their salary account. Ε

    The club’s revenue, meanwhile, has fallen due to the pandemic and the collapse of the French league’s television rights deal, but at the moment they have no obligation to exceed it.

    The rule of analysis could be completely abolished, according to Andrea Traverso, UEFA’s director of economic stability and research, who in April described it as “pointless” in the post-pandemic era.

    Traverso suggested that the new rules should focus on the present and the future instead of punishing clubs for past transgressions.

    UEFA declined to comment on what the future of financial fair play will be like or whether the relaxation of the break-even rule paved the way for PSG to sign Messi.

    Another key rule change by UEFA was to allow homeowners to spend their own money to reduce losses, which hit Qatar-backed PSG and Abu Dhabi-funded City but provided little relief to ownership of the Barca jersey.

    The Catalans were also at the mercy of LaLiga financial fair play rules, which set each club a maximum budget each season depending on their expected income.

    Barça’s budget for the 2019-20 season was 671 million euros, down from 347 million last season due to the pandemic.

    It is reported that it will fall between 160 and 200 million for the next campaign, making it impossible to give Messi a new deal.

    PSG, on the other hand, took advantage of the French Football Association, which postponed the requirements for its clubs to spend only 70% of their income on salaries.

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