Dortmund question whether Neymar’s move to Al-Hilal broke FFP rules
Borussia Dortmund’s financial director believes that the French club evaded Financial Fair Play rules by selling the Brazilian star.
Borussia Dortmund’s chief financial director Thomas Tress believes that Paris Saint-Germain gained an unfair advantage in the transfer market by selling Neymar to Al-Hilal. According to The Athletic, Tress questioned whether UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules were being applied effectively. His allegation provoked an angry reaction from PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and led to a subsequent apology from Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Insider trading claims
The Athletic explains that the incident happened at this week’s General Assembly of the European Club Association (ECA) in Berlin, during which Al-Khelaifi was unanimously re-elected as ECA Chairman for the next four years (2023-2027). Tress surprised those present by highlighting the transfer agreement between PSG and Al Hilal for Neymar, which was closed at 80 million pounds. The Saudi Pro League had just experienced a significant boost due to the state investment fund PIF, while PSG, who are owned by Qatar Sports Investment, has strong links to the Qatari state. It was argued that Saudi money had distorted the transfer market, allowing clubs such as PSG to circumvent Financial Fair Play restrictions to sign players from their European rivals.
These comments were made in the presence of ECA Chairman Al-Khelaifi, who waited for Tress outside the conference room to discuss the matter in private. Al-Khelaifi feltthat Tress had embarrassed him by making such allegations in front of other clubs and emphasized that any problems should be discussed amicably in private. In spite this isolated incident, both clubs, who are group stage rivals in this year’s Champions League, generally maintain a good relationship.