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Where Are PSG Making Their Millions?

Conor Heffernan discusses PSG’s attempts to circumvent UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules by funneling cash into the club through other means.

Figures released recently by French Football’s Licensing Authority, DNCG, have revealed that French giants Paris Saint-Germain make almost €233.6 million from ‘other products’. This means that PSG have made more money from miscellaneous sales this season than they have from TV rights, sponsorship rights and ticket sales combined.

Miscellaneous sales now make up 58% of the club’s total income and have doubled since this time last year.

For those of a dubious disposition it is further proof that the Qatar backed soccer team are trying to work their way around UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Rules once more.When questioned by French reporters earlier in the week about the recent revelation, PSG representatives Yann Guerin and Louise Cosnard remained unresponsive. The official club line has been to keep quiet on the matter and it’s understandable why.

Earlier in the season UEFA fined the Parisian club after their net losses breached the caps established under Financial Fair Play. PSG were fined after it was discovered that the club had ended the 2011/2012 season with a net loss of €5.5 million.

The club had been hoping that a lucrative deal signed between the Club and Qatar Tourism Agency worth between €150 and €200 million could circumvent Financial Fair Play. Such hopes were dashed however when an independent body of analysts within UEFA deemed the deal failed a fair value. In UEFA’s eyes, the Qatari run club had been trying to break the rules.

PSG didn’t see it that way.

In fact PSG believed they had been wronged by UEFA. Before UEFA’s decision to fine PSG in May, Club President Nasser al-Khelaifi told reporters:

“Our contract with Qatar Tourism Authority is not some accounting trick. It’s the same contract we have with Emirates. There’s no reason for UEFA to disagree. Everything is legal. Our lawyers are very competent.”

Regardless of how competent the club’s lawyers may be, there’s no hiding from plain facts.

PSG are trying desperately to find a loophole in FFP. The latest ‘miscellaneous sales’ trick is proof of that. FFP may not be the perfect system, but it is at least proving a thorn in the side of those European clubs hoping to splash the cash.

Whether or not FFP will help solve football’s inequalities in Europe is up for debate. But it’s at least forcing those clubs with buckets full of cash to think twice about how they use their money.

Conor Heffernan, Pundit Arena.

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