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European football

PSG's Champions League status at risk as Uefa reopen FFP probe

According to L'Équipe, Uefa is going to override its own decision to close an investigation into PSG's accounts and Neymar and Mbappé's transfers.

Kylian Mbappé y Neymar en el Nápoles-PSG de Champions.

Uefa’s ongoing investigation into PSG’s financial affairs may yet place the Ligue 1 club’s Champions League participation in doubt, according to a report published in L’Équipe.

The French broadsheet states that the European governing body is to leaf through PSG’s sponsorship deals and the full details of the club’s acquisition of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé in 2017, a revision that may see the Ligue 1 champions’ accounts fall into negative numbers. Uefa announced in June that they intended to review a decision made by its own club financial control body (CFCB) clearing PSG of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. Uefa also issued a statement on Tuesday informing clubs that closed investigations into FFP compliance coud be reopened in light of the latest Football Leaks revelations.

The original CFCB investigation was deemed concluded on June 13 but was later reopened by the adjudicatory chamber of the same committee, which L’Équipe reports is taking a much finer comb to PSG accounts. The adjudicatory committee has devalued PSG’s sponsorship agreements with with Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), Qatar National Bank, Ooredoo, beIN Sports and Aspetar by 37 percent and set their worth at 87 million euros compared to the 138 million euros declared by PSG, who declined to respond to requests for comment from L’Équipe. PSG’s principal sponsor, QTA, was subsequently revalued at 58 million euros as opposed to 100 million. That deal is due to expire in 2019, placing further economic strain on the club’s accounts.

Neymar and Mbappé transfers to be re-evaluated

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Those adjustments leave a hole in PSG’s accounts of 84 million euros for the 2016-17 season, with Uefa rules stating that a club cannot post a deficit of more than 30 million euros in a financial year. According to L’Équipe, sanctions for such an alleged breach of FFP regulations include a club being excluded from the Champions League, the most severe action available to Uefa and a potential fate that is not helped by a previous FFP punishment handed down to PSG in 2014. Other possible sanctions include a ban on registering players for European competition or the retention of money earned for participating in them: so far this season PSG have earned just shy of 50 million euros for their European participation.

Uefa is also going to scrutinise the signings of Mbappé and Neymar, who cost the Parisian side 180 million euros and 222 million euros respectively and the club’s plans to pay the annual costs relating to each. With fee payments and the two players’ salaries combined, PSG are obliged to find 150 million euros per year to balance their books.

L’Équipe summed up the task facing PSG to satisfy Uefa’s FFP demands as “almost as difficult as winning the Champions League.”

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