PSG score legal win over UEFA
Paris Saint-Germain won an initial legal battle with UEFA yesterday over the monitoring of their spending on player transfers and wages, and sponsorship deals linked to the club’s Qatari owner.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld PSG’s appeal against an attempt by UEFA investigators to reopen a previously closed investigation.
The judgment in favour of PSG is separate from another UEFA investigation of their finances in the 2017-18 season when the French champions, backed by Qatari sovereign wealth, signed Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
The most severe punishment in that ongoing probe could see UEFA ban PSG from the Champions League. World football’s most coveted club competition is key to building the club’s global appeal and paid the French club €62 million (US$70 million) last season in prize money alone.
The appeal judgment yesterday from CAS related to UEFA’s club finance monitoring panel wanting to review its own decision that declared PSG’s accounts through June 2017 compliant with “Financial Fair Play” rules.
The court said UEFA’s panel of independent investigators and judges missed the deadline to challenge their own previous decision.
“The challenged decision was untimely and must be annulled,” CAS said in a statement, announcing the ruling, while PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi attended talks at UEFA headquarters about future changes to the Champions League.
VICTORY WAS EXPECTED
Al Khelaifi, who is also a member of UEFA’s executive committee representing European clubs, declined to comment to The Associated Press.
PSG’s victory was expected after Turkish club Galatasaray won a similar CAS ruling against UEFA last month.
“The CAS decision does not put in doubt the objectives of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play system,” UEFA said, repeating its statement issued in the Galatasaray case.
UEFA said its lawyers will analyse the CAS judgment and make “Any clarifications or amendments to its rules” required.
PSG have long been a major target of UEFA’s FFP project since the launch in 2011. It requires clubs to approach break-even business on football, such as on player transfers and wages, and also assesses the fair market value of sponsorship deals.