Proof that UEFA’s Financial Fair Play statutes are toothless as an octogenarian with a lifelong candy habit comes with the news that European soccer’s governing body is relaxing its restrictions on big spending Paris Saint-Germain, allowing it to go on another shopping spree this summer.
PSG and Manchester City were fined and had their Champions League roster sizes reduced last year as punishment for breaching UEFA’s financial rules. Turned out, UEFA was unconvinced that PSG’s 200 million Euros per year sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority was anywhere near a fair market rate. Remind me, who owns PSG again? Oh yeah, the Qatari royal family.
It’s questionable whether rules ostensibly designed to stop clubs spending beyond their means should apply to clubs such as PSG and Manchester City, who aren’t normal businesses. When you are bankrolled by billionaire owners, “beyond your means” becomes a far more nebulous concept.
Regardless, until this news, PSG had been faced with being allowed to spend only 60 million Euros in this window. Peasants. Now they can join in the summer fun. Cristiano Ronaldo!? Ángel Di María? Some English players from mid-table EPL teams! (No, wait, that’s Liverpool’s strategy.)
According to the Daily Telegraph, PSG is looking to offload Zlatan Ibrahimovic to give them more flexibility to make a bid for Ronaldo, who might be prised from Real Madrid for 125 million Euros. The French capital is one of the few places the Portuguese star may actually be interested in going..
“He is aware that there is a strong Portuguese community in Paris,” the report states, bizarrely, as if the chance to eat salted cod and listen to authentic Fado music would be a key consideration for a man who’s lived abroad since he was a teenager. He’s also currently living in a city that’s only a three-hour drive from Portugal’s border with Spain.
Di María would seem to be a more realistic target. Whoever PSG pursue, though, the news means the club’s back in the transfer game with the big boys, and can once again be linked with every expensive player in the world.