UEFA to investigate Paris Saint-Germain’s summer sales to the Qatar Stars League
Marco Verratti, Adbou Diallo and Julian Draxler have all moved from Paris to Qatar as PSG look to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
Paris Saint-Germain have made €80 million ($85.5 million) this summer from the sales of Marco Verrati, Abdou Diallo and Julian Draxler to clubs in Qatar, which French newspaper L’Équipe claim will be investigated by UEFA.
At a time when the Ligue 1 champions were desperate to offload unwanted players in order to balance the books and avoid any Financial Fair Play breaches, European soccer’s governing body is keen to determine whether the “close relationships” between the buying clubs and PSG led to transfer fees being inflated.
How could PSG be punished by UEFA?
If that is deemed to be the case, the money brought in could be wiped from the club’s accounts, which could lead to further FFP issues.
PSG have sought to play down those reports to AS and have alleged that “there are numerous cases of multi-club ownership projects in soccer that have no consequences”. The French side also say the sales of Verratti, Diallo and Draxler were conducted with complete legality and transparency. After the Italian midfielder had left for Al Arabi, they claimed to have received a more lucrative offer from a club Saudi Arabia, only for Verratti to make the switch to Qatar anyway.
Ligue 1 champions’ numerous links to Qatar
There are, of course, multiple links between the Gulf state and PSG. FFP experts will analyse whether the investment funds which own the different clubs involved in the transfers are in any way connected. Qatar Sports Investments, a Qatari government-backed investment fund, is PSG’s sole owner, while the Ligue 1 club’s former sporting director Antero Henrique, who played a key role in Kylian Mbappé signing a new contract in 2022, is now occupies the same position for the Qatar Stars League, which Verratti, Diallo and Draxler will now play in.
PSG previously guilty of FFP breaches
UEFA has previously ruled that PSG had inflated their sponsorship revenue from Qatari companies, including BeIN Sports, Qatar Tourism and Aspetar, with whom they had close links.
In addition to selling Verratii, Diallo and Draxler to Qatar for €80 million ($85.5 million), helping them avoid FFP sanctions, the club have also brought in another €100 million (circa $107 million) from the departures of Neymar and Georginio Wijnaldum to Saudi Arabia.
In 2022, PSG were fined €65 million ($69.5 million) for FFP breaches, although they only paid €10 million ($10.7 million), with the remainder of the sanction only applicable if they fail to comply with the settlement reached with UEFA over the next few years.