Soccer giant Paris Saint-Germain denies it faces UEFA sanctions over irregular transfer spending

  • UEFA started an investigation in September into whether the French club was in breach of its Financial Fair Flay regulations.
  • "Paris Saint-Germain is in constant contact with UEFA and will present its case in full serenity on April 20 before European football's governing body," the statement said.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has dismissed allegations made in a report that it faces sanctions over its transfer spending as "wrong."

European soccer body UEFA started an investigation in September into whether the French club was in breach of its Financial Fair Flay (FFP) regulations. UEFA introduced FFP "break-even" rules in 2013, requiring clubs to balance their spending with their revenue.

Paris Saint-Germain's supporters wave flags during the French Cup round of 16 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Guingamp (EAG) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on January 24, 2018.
GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT | AFP | Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain's supporters wave flags during the French Cup round of 16 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Guingamp (EAG) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on January 24, 2018.

British newspaper the Financial Times reported Wednesday that PSG was facing the threat of sanctions after preliminary investigations found that sponsorship contracts worth $247.2 million had been "overstated."

PSG, which is due to meet with UEFA officials next week, responded in a statement Thursday, saying that UEFA had a "clear and transparent vision" of its finances and that its probe was ongoing.

"Paris Saint-Germain is in constant contact with UEFA and will present its case in full serenity on April 20 before European football's governing body," the statement said.

The last summer transfer window was the biggest showcase yet of PSG's spending power in the six years since it was bought by the Gulf state of Qatar, via its Qatar Sports Investments fund. It paid a world record fee of $275 million to bring in Brazilian forward Neymar from Barcelona.

The Paris club faced further scrutiny regarding its dealings in the transfer market, after also signing the highly-rated French teenager Kylian Mbappe from Monaco, initially as a loan, but with first-refusal to make the move permanent in a deal worth $235 million at the end of the season.

Fees of this size, particularly coming at the same time, have raised eyebrows around Europe. PSG has previously been accused of "financial doping" by Javier Tebas, the head of La Liga, Spain's top soccer league, due to the suspicion that the club had allegedly been structuring deals to get around FFP.

If found guilty, PSG could not only face a hefty financial penalty, but also forego participation in the Champions League, which the club covets so highly.

PSG is the dominant side in France, with four league titles in five years, and another on the way this season. However, the pursuit of the European Cup has meant PSG has had to constantly pay inflated transfer fees in order to convince the world's top talent to play for the club.

It is the sponsorship contracts, in particular, that are now facing the most scrutiny.

In 2014, PSG was punished for having an significantly lower valuation — $960 million over four years — placed on a deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority that was declared to UEFA. On that occasion, the club was hit with financial sanctions, demanding it break-even with its transfer spending, as well as a squad cap for European games.

Despite sitting comfortably at the top of the French league table, these are proving to be testing times for PSG. Out of the Champions League again, Neymar injured and unlikely to feature again this season, and questions over the future of manager Unai Emery could only be the start of its problems with these fresh UEFA charges to answer.