By Associated Press
GENEVA: Paris Saint-Germain must pay 10 million euros ($10 million) for breaking UEFA financial rules, with seven other clubs also punished for overspending since 2018.
UEFA said its club finance investigators ordered prize money from European competitions totaling 26 million euros to be withheld from the eight clubs sanctioned under Financial Fair Play rules.
A further 146 million euros in total punishments could be imposed if the clubs fail to meet financial targets in the next three to four years they have agreed to in settlement deals, UEFA said.
PSG will have the biggest amount deducted from Champions League prize money this season. A group of Italian clubs were next in line: Roma must forfeit prize money of 5 million euros, Inter Milan 4 million euros, Juventus 3.5 million euros and AC Milan 2 million euros.
French champion PSG declined to comment on the case, which covered the 2021-22 season when it added Lionel Messi to a superstar forward line that already featured Kylian Mbappé and Neymar.
PSG earned 110 million euros in Champions League prize money for reaching the semifinals in the 2020-21 season, the most recent prize list published by UEFA. The club’s total revenue last season was reported to be about 700 million euros when it was eliminated in the round of 16.
AC Milan said in a statement, “We will continue with confidence on the virtuous path towards financial sustainability.” The Italian champion was bought this week by American investors RedBird Capital Partners in a 1.2 billion euros deal that included the New York Yankees as a minority partner.
The other deductions imposed by UEFA were 600,000 euros from Besiktas and 300,000 euros each from Marseille and Monaco.
The sanctions covering the four financial years from 2018 — including two seasons when club revenue was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic — should be the last major round of cases under the FFP rules that UEFA announced in April will now be modified.
UEFA launched FFP a decade ago to monitor the revenue and spending of clubs that qualify to play in its club competitions to ensure they approach break-even on their soccer-related business. Clubs were allowed unlimited spending on stadium and youth development projects.
Qatar-backed PSG had to pay UEFA 20 million euros in 2014, when Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City had to pay the same amount, in the first round of FFP cases.
Man City was among 19 clubs named who met the break-even standard only on technicalities, UEFA said, such as concessions made for the pandemic seasons when many games were played without fans. Other clubs in this category were Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Sevilla and West Ham.
Among other cases, Champions League team Porto was threatened with a one-season ban from UEFA competitions if it failed to meet a new break-even target.
The cases were investigated by a panel whose new chairman is Sunil Gulati, the former United States soccer federation president and FIFA executive committee member who is an economics lecturer at Columbia University.