The hiring of Argentine striker Lionel Messi by PSG – added to those of four other players during the summer – is causing some teeth to cringe in Europe. Some see it as the effects of anti-competitive financial “doping” that no regulatory framework would curb. In particular financial fair play, a mechanism instituted in 2010 by UEFA, the umbrella body for football in Europe, which aims to prevent clubs from spending more than they earn.
“We respect the rules of financial fair play and we will always respect them, assured Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, the president of PSG, Wednesday, August 11, during the first press conference of Lionel Messi. If we sign Leo, it’s because we can do it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have signed it. ”
In March, Joan Laporta openly doubted it. While PSG had made, a little earlier, calls for the six-fold Golden Ball, the president of FC Barcelona had said that the leaders of the Parisian club could ” perhaps “ recruit the Argentinian “If they continue to disregard the standards of financial fair play”.
Possible introduction of a “luxury tax”
“They had significant losses. I would be curious to know if they will ignore the rules of financial fair play to recruit him. If that happens, I hope that UEFA and FIFA [la fédération internationale] react firmly and that the Court of Arbitration for Sport [TAS] will not tremble when it comes time to deliver its verdict ”, Mr Laporta added. The latter referred to a judgment of the CAS which, in March 2019, had concluded that there was no reason to prosecute PSG, while the adjudicatory chamber of the club financial control body, a body dependent on UEFA wanted to re-examine the club’s file.
This episode, added to the fact that in July 2020 the CAS had ruled against UEFA, which wanted to exclude Manchester City from the competitions for two years, led the football body to consider” adapt ” financial fair play “At different times”, as explained, in mid-June, its president, Aleksander Ceferin. He mentioned in particular the possible establishment of a “Luxury tax” which would be paid by clubs spending beyond a certain limit to those “Which respect financial fair play”.