A Barcelona fan group appeared in court on Tuesday to claim that PSG unfairly signed Lionel Messi. If the European Court determines the group’s claims are warranted, a full investigation into the matter proceeds.

Based in Lyon, France, the fan group insists that the transaction of the player violated by the transaction of the player. Essentially, their argument is that PSG cheated the system when they signed Messi. The group claims PSG violated UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. The fan group deems these rules inefficient and ineffective.

“We are asking the commission to profoundly change the system,” Issam Abdelmouine, who is on the prosecution’s side, told the Associated Press. “Clubs like Barcelona are facing unfaithful competition and losing lots of money and risking going private, and then members will disappear.”

Previously, UEFA fined PSG for breaching these FFP rules. UEFA ordered the French club to pay a $10 million fine for overspending. That overspending period started in 2018. This timeframe includes the Messi transfer. If PSG does not meet certain financial targets, a punishment is in place. A fine of $146 million could be called upon from PSG.

Photo: IMAGO / Xinhua

Barcelona fan group in court against PSG

Messi spent his entire senior club career at Barca before switching to PSG in the summer of 2021. PSG was able to sign Messi on a free due to the fact that his contract expired with the Spanish club after the 2020/21 season. However, financial rules put in by the Spanish league blocked Barca from re-signing their superstar.

Qatar Sports Investments owned PSG since 2011. The organization is led by chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi and vice chairman Adel Mohammed Tayyeb Mustafawi. QSI is a subsidiary of a state-run sovereign-wealth fund in the Middle Eastern country Qatar Investment Authority.

A decision by the courts on this topic takes a few months. Potential appeals could also further push back any official ruling as well.