January 31, 2023

Messi does not breach UEFA’s FFP rules -PSG boss

August 11, 2021
Nasser Al-Khelaifi with Lionel Messi (right)

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has insisted no Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules have been breached by the club signing Lionel Messi on a staggering £1million-a-week deal.

Messi was officially unveiled as a PSG player in a press conference on Wednesday morning after he left Barcelona, with the Argentine star set to earn £1m-a-week at the Parc des Princes.

While there is no transfer fee for Messi as his Barcelona contract had expired, questions have been asked as to how PSG could add his enormous salary to their wage bill and comply with UEFA’s financial rules.

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But Al-Khelaifi said the commercial opportunities that come from signing such a global star will offset the outlay.

He said: “We follow FFP regulations from day one until the end. Before we do anything, we look at commercial and financial aspects and we had the capacity to sign him.

“We knew we could sign him and today what Leo is bringing to the club is huge.

“What you as the media need to focus on is not the negative side of things but the positives he can bring. He is an asset for the club and everything will grow commercially.

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“In three days, you will be shocked. I hope he does not ask for any more in terms of salary but we always look at FFP and will always follow it.”

However, UEFA relaxed their FFP rules last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic to prevent clubs being financially crippled.

The rules, introduced back in 2011, detail that a club can only spend money equivalent to its income. If they exceed this figure, they are required to not go more than £25m over during the following three years.

Income consists of various revenue streams such as matchday ticket sales, TV rights, advertising, player sales and prize money. This is balanced against transfer fees and employee wages.

But UEFA’s ’emergency measures’ during the pandemic saw this cap scrapped with owners encouraged to put more money into their clubs.

This has allowed cash-rich clubs such as PSG, state-owned by Qatar, to be more aggressive in their recruitment this summer without fear of FFP punishment.

UEFA has acknowledged that the rules will need to be reform in the wake of the pandemic’s impact, from which even the largest clubs such as Barcelona are not immune.

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