A Barcelona fan has launched a legal complaint aimed at forcing PSG to back out of their bid for Lionel Messi, claiming that French football chiefs failed to enforce Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations on the club.
The legal action, which was filed with a French court and with the European Union Commission, alleges that French football authorities gave cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain free rein to disregard financial penalties aimed at curbing overspending, allowing the club to emerge as a European powerhouse as a result.
In recent seasons, Paris Saint-Germain – who are owned by Nasser Al-Khelaif, of Qatar Sports Investments – have broken the world transfer record on two occasions, with both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe joining the club in consecutive seasons for a total transfer outlay of almost $500 million.
And amid news that the Parisian giants are set to secure the services of Messi on a bumper two-year deal worth $59 million after tax following the expiration of his Barcelona deal, the unnamed fan – thought to be a member of Barcelona’s so-called ‘socios’, the conglomerate of fee-paying supporters who “own” the club – claims that a deal to sign Messi would violate FFP protocols.
FFP dictates that players cannot be paid more than a certain share of a club’s revenue, with the complaint alleging that Messi’s contract would be a direct violation of these guidelines.
UEFA, European football’s administrative body, have stated in the past that a 70 percent ratio of wages-to-revenue should be adhered to but admitted that some larger clubs threaten to breach these limits in the short term.
The complaint also claims that Messi representing PSG would “distort competition” to other European leagues, while also stating that the move would prove to be “detrimental” to fans of Barcelona.
It claims that the Messi deal would unfairly impact PSG’s European rivals and, due to the source of the money likely to be required to proceed with the deal, also constitute “unlawful state aid”.
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